Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Has Preventative Benefits

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    The Facts

    • According to a study published on Tuesday in The Lancet, the biologic drug abatacept could help prevent the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

    • The study, led by King's College London researchers, has found that abatacept — currently used as a treatment for patients with established rheumatoid arthritis — is also effective in preventing the condition's onset in at-risk populations.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Rheumatoid arthritis is an incurable auto-immune disease, and there's no way to prevent it — until now. If a drug used as a second or third-line treatment for people with rheumatoid arthritis can also prevent its progression, the new treatment could offer a ray of hope for people with a high risk of developing the potentially crippling condition.

    Narrative B

    While the study's results are promising, more questions must be answered before the apparent revolutionary treatment is expanded. Researchers still need to find out the long-term health impacts of this treatment or if it would be safe, affordable, and effective to continue. More research is also necessary to refine the target population to ensure everyone receives the drug.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 59% chance that a senolytic therapy will be approved for commercial sale by the US FDA before Jan. 1, 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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