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The European Commission has authorised the marketing for Kevzara® (sarilumab), to be used in combination with methotrexate (MTX) to treat moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis(RA) in adult patients who have not responded well to, or are intolerant to, one or more disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Sarilumab may be used as monotherapy in case of intolerance to MTX or when treatment with methotrexate is inappropriate. Dr Sinead Harney, Consultant Rheumatologist, Cork University Hospital, commented: “Patients with RA can suffer a combination of debilitating symptoms which often make it difficult to perform simple daily activities.

“New treatment options are an important part of managing this problem and help ease the burden on patients”.

RA is a chronic and debilitating lifelong disease which affects about 45,000 people in Ireland and approximately 2.9 million people in Europe. People with RA can suffer from severe pain, swelling, stiffness, or fatigue as the immune system attacks the tissues of the joints, causing inflammation and destroying bone and cartilage.  The impact these symptoms and complications have on daily life is often underestimated.