Washington Update- What’s New: The Trump Admin. Released Preliminary Ideas About Reducing Drug Prices In The US

Dr. Angus Worthing Angus B. Worthing, MD, FACP, FACR @AngusWorthing You may have heard that in the past few months, the Trump Administration has released preliminary ideas about reducing drug prices in the US through major changes in the various drug distribution systems (like Medicare Part B, the program for drugs patients receive in doctors’ offices). The administration also requested input from stakeholders like doctors and patients. Before I get into the drug price issue, though, here’s an update from

What Are Biosimilars?

  Dr. Angus Worthing Written By: Angus Worthing MD In case you missed it, a new kind of medicine recently arrived in rheumatology: the biosimilar. What exactly is a biosimilar? Well, you may know what biologics are – medicines that are given as injections or infusions for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and other autoimmune diseases that have been in use since the late 1990s. Think of biosimilars as a little like a “generic” version of biologic drugs. The difference between a

Great News for the Rheumatology Community

Dr. Angus Worthing Angus Worthing MD   Greetings, Advocates!   Great news for the rheumatology community came on February 9, 2018 as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 was enacted. It contained several critical health care fixes. First, after hundreds of emails, meetings, letters to the editor, an op-ed and a forceful 109-member coalition letter led by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to House and Senate leaders, the new law dropped plans for Medicare’s new quality payment program to threaten large cuts to medical practices for

Lyme Disease

By Nicole Thomas, MD, FACR Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. These bacteria are transmitted to you through the bite of an infected black-legged (deer) tick. There are three stages to Lyme infection.The first stage is called early localized disease. During this stage, symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle and joint aches. A characteristic red rash develops at the site of the bite 3-30 days later (average is seven

The Great Oxymoron: Inflammatory Osteoarthritis

Dr Elbogdadi By Daniel El-Bogdadi, MD, FACR Osteoarthritis typically is thought of as a degenerative arthritis in which the joint space is gradually lost with little or no associated inflammation and erosions (loss of bone in the joint space). However, there is an aggressive subset of osteoarthritis that is associated with inflammation, erosions, and aggressive joint space loss in the hands. This is known as Inflammatory Osteoarthritis of the Hands or Erosive Osteoarthritis of the Hands. This condition may be

High drug costs on doctors and patients, and other top line issues for 2018

Dr. Angus Worthing   By: Dr. Angus Worthing MD, FACP, FACR   Washington is back to work after the holiday recess and they’re busily trying to avoid a government shutdown on January 19. This week will likely see a short-term continuing resolution (“CR”) to keep the government running at current funding levels through mid-February. At some point, it would be great for Congress to pass a budget (instead of a CR) in order to enact bipartisan plans to increase biomedical research funds through

Pneumonia Vaccines – Prevnar13® (PCV13) and Pneumovax23® (PPSV23)

By Justin Peng, MD, FACR Pneumococcal infections, including pneumonia, are a leading cause of hospitalizations, morbidity and mortality here in the U.S. There are many different types of pneumococci, but the most commonly identified cause of pneumonia hospitalizations in the U.S. is the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, also called pneumococcus. Vaccination against these organisms reduces the number of cases that occur and lessens the severity of the disease when it does occur. What are the kinds of Pneumonia Vaccines? There are


The New York Times Dr. Herbert S.B. Baraf Back to Common Conditions >  Why Do I Have Gout?   If one night you wake with the feeling that a big toe has suddenly become a battlefield, and a peek under the covers reveals not This Little Piggy but an angry red monstrosity from some old horror movie, your first thought may be to seek help. You need an M.D., you’ll think. Maybe a CT scan or even an M.R.I. But here’s

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