Biologic Treatments - The surveyed patients were either on biologic therapy or were biologic naive but eligible for biologic treatment based on a broad set of criteria. Of those patients currently taking an anti-TNF therapy, over three-quarters said that their treatment reduces the amount of joint pain and swelling and 71 percent feel that their medication is well tolerated. Only 11 percent of biologic eligible patients had ever been recommended a biologic treatment by a physician. Additionally, a majority of the biologic-eligible patients would be willing to try a medication requiring an injection if the product: stopped disease progression (89 percent); relieved more symptoms for a greater period of time (86 percent); didn't hurt at the time of injection (75 percent) and was easy to use (73 percent). Current Treatments - A total of 66 percent of people with RA surveyed feel their current treatment provides only short-term relief, while almost 20 percent of people with RA believe their current medication produces inconsistent results. Furthermore, patients cite the pain and discomfort they receive at the injection site as well as tolerance issues as drawbacks from their current medication. "This large patient survey provides key insights into how patients with rheumatoid arthritis live with their disease and how therapy may impact their ability to manage their RA," said Bernard Combe, MD, PhD, Professor of Rheumatology, Immuno-Rhumatologie, Hospital Lapeyronie, Montpellier, France and RAISE Patient Needs Panel Steering Group member. "Almost 20 percent of the surveyed patients said their current treatment produces inconsistent results, which confirms there is a significant need for newer treatment options for this patient population." About the RAISE Patient Needs Survey
The RAISE survey is part of an educational initiative designed to gain insight into the management and treatment of RA from both health care provider and patient points-of-view. The first program executed under RAISE was a large-scale survey of RA patients designed to: better understand the perceptions of RA patients and their therapy; characterize the patients view on unmet needs and increase physician awareness of the perceptions of their patients and their unmet therapy needs. The survey was conducted October through December 2008. A total of 586 patients, approximately 30 biologic naive and 35 currently using anti-TNF alpha agents from nine countries (Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom), were interviewed. Development of the survey was guided by the RAISE Patient Needs Panel Steering Group, comprised of Drs. Gerd Burmester, Bernard Combe, and Iain McInnes. Additionally a Country Panel of 53 rheumatology experts from the nine countries contributed to the survey on a local country-specific level. Two patient organizations also had the opportunity to review the survey and provide questions they believed important to include in this initiative. The final survey included, but was not limited to, questions covering RA diagnosis and physician visits, methods for obtaining information and support for the management of RA, daily living with RA, and patients' beliefs around their current treatment. About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic and debilitating disease that affects approximately one percent of Canadian adults and more than three million people in Europe. Signs and symptoms of RA include pain, stiffness and motion restriction in multiple joints. Because RA is a progressive disease, it can cause permanent joint deformity and severe disability if not diagnosed early or if initial treatment is delayed. RA can occur at any age, but is most common in adults 30-50 years old and is two-to-three times more prevalent in women than in men. The cause of RA is unknown, although genetic factors may contribute to the disease. About Schering-Plough
Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development platform to human prescription and consumer products as well as to animal health products. Schering-Plough's vision is to "Earn Trust, Every Day" with the doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its colleagues around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J., and its Web site is www.schering-plough.com.