Relief for rheumatoid arthritis patients

Patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis now have subsidised access to a self-injectable form of antirheumatic medication, which has been listed on the PBS this month.

The new formulation of abatacept (Orencia) is indicated in combination with methotrexate for patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, who have responded poorly to other antirheumatic drugs such as TNF-blocking agents.

Announcing the listing, the Federal Government estimated about 450 patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis would now be spared visits to a clinic