Treating to a drug-free remission target works in early RA

Treating people with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to a target of drug-free remission can restore function to ‘almost normal’ and stymie progression of joint damage, a trial shows.

The IMPROVED study shows for the first time that aiming for sustained drug-free remission and tapering medication as required is successful at up to five years follow-up, although most patients periodically still need a DMARD, researchers say.

They followed 610 patients with either RA or undifferentiated arthritis of less than two years