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Category: Rheumatology | Monthly Briefing

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March 2016 Briefing - Rheumatology

Last Updated: April 01, 2016.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for March 2016. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Baricitinib Superior to Placebo in Refractory Rheumatoid Arthritis

THURSDAY, March 31, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Baricitinib, an oral Janus kinase 1 and 2 inhibitor, is superior to placebo in refractory rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study published in the March 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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No Benefit for Longer-Term Antibiotic Tx in Lyme Disease

WEDNESDAY, March 30, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Longer-term antibiotic treatment does not improve health-related quality of life compared with shorter-term treatment among patients with persistent symptoms attributed to Lyme disease, according to a study published in the March 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Tocilizumab Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis After Non-TNFi Failure

WEDNESDAY, March 30, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and a first non-tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) failure, treatment with tocilizumab seems more efficacious than abatacept or rituximab, according to a study published online March 27 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

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AMA Addresses Elements of Team-Based Care Model

TUESDAY, March 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The elements of a team-based care model are described in a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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How Can We Fix the Wage Gap Among Female Physicians?

MONDAY, March 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Women doctors can address the gender wage disparity by understanding the reasons why they earn less, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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Many Doctors Prescribe Opioids for Longer Than CDC Advises

FRIDAY, March 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- When doctors in the United States prescribe opioids for their patients, 99 percent of them hand out prescriptions that exceed the federally recommended three-day dosage limit, new research suggests.

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FDA Wants Generic Opioids to Be Abuse-Deterrent

FRIDAY, March 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Continuing their push to combat the nation's epidemic of opioid abuse, U.S. officials on Thursday urged generic drug makers to take steps to redesign drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone to make them harder to abuse.

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FDA Orders Enhanced Warning Labels on Opioid Pain Medications

TUESDAY, March 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that immediate-release opioid pain medications will get new boxed warnings about the dangers of misuse.

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FDA: Most Powdered Medical Gloves Should Be Banned in U.S.

MONDAY, March 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to ban most powdered medical gloves, saying they pose serious health risks to patients and health care providers alike.

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Physicians Respond to New CDC Opioid Guidelines

MONDAY, March 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have responded to the new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's clinical guidelines for prescribing opioids, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Acetaminophen May Not Be the Best Choice for Arthritis Pain

FRIDAY, March 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Acetaminophen isn't an effective choice for osteoarthritis pain in the hip or knee, or for improving joint function, according to a report published online March 17 in The Lancet.

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Case Before Supreme Court May Expose Doctors to Large Fines

FRIDAY, March 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A case before a state supreme court could potentially expose physicians to large fines based on a legal technicality relating to what they should have known, rather than what they knew, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Spending on Prescription Meds Up About 5 Percent in 2015

THURSDAY, March 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Spending on prescription medications for insured Americans increased about 5 percent in 2015, with the increase half of that seen in 2014, the Associated Press reported.

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FDA Safety Announcement Affected Bisphosphonate Use

WEDNESDAY, March 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Food and Drug Administration safety announcement relating to atrial fibrillation risk associated with bisphosphonates correlated with a reduction in bisphosphonate use, according to a study published online March 11 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

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Disruptive Patients Distract Docs, May Receive Compromised Care

WEDNESDAY, March 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Disruptive patients may get worse care from physicians, according to a study published online March 7 in BMJ Quality & Safety. The findings aren't definitive because the researchers tested how physicians responded in fictional vignettes, instead of real-life encounters. Still, the results suggest that such patients distract physicians from doing their jobs.

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CDC Issues New Prescription Guidelines for Opioids

TUESDAY, March 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A new advisory, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stresses that doctors -- especially primary care physicians -- should try to avoid prescription of opioids whenever possible. Two research letters published online March 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association highlight the scope of the opioid issue.

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Mayo Clinic Has Established Model to Help Battle Burnout

TUESDAY, March 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In an effort to reduce burnout among physicians, the Mayo Clinic is initiating a model to raise camaraderie and increase collaboration, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Guidance Offered for Negotiating Higher Rates From Payers

MONDAY, March 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Negotiations to increase payment from insurance companies can be extremely difficult, although it is possible to get a payment increase, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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E-Consultations Can Improve Access to, Timeliness of Care

MONDAY, March 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic consultation (e-consultation), an asynchronous, non-face-to-face consultation between a primary care physician and a specialist, can improve access to care and reduce wait times, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Serotonin Directly Implicated in Rheumatoid Arthritis

MONDAY, March 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Serotonin appears to be involved in autoimmune arthritis through Th17 immunity and bone resorption, according to an experimental study published online March 8 in The American Journal of Pathology.

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Analgesics Plus Exercise Therapy Feasible for Knee OA

FRIDAY, March 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A combined intervention of optimized analgesic prescription and exercise therapy is feasible and associated with significant reductions in pain and activity limitation in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and severe knee pain, according to a study published in the March issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Physicians' Contracts Can Affect Patients, Professionalism

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Problematic clauses in physicians' contracts can impact patient care and professionalism, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online March 8 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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PTSD Symptomatology Linked to Increased Risk of RA

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology is associated with the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in women, according to a study published in the March issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Vitamin D Not Beneficial for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D supplements don't appear to relieve pain or slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis in patients with low levels of the vitamin, according to a study published in the March 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Research Offers Clues to Impact of Lupus on Immune System

TUESDAY, March 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have gained new insight into systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) which they hope will lead to new therapies, or help guide current treatment choices. The research was published online March 8 in Immunity.

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SCOTUS: States Can't Force Health Care Data Release

WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The Supreme Court has ruled against state efforts to collect health care data from insurance plans.

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Spouse Education Level May Impact Choice for Rural Practice

WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who are married to a highly-educated spouse are less likely to work in rural underserved areas, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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