Black Arthritis Patients Get Less Powerful Drugs

    A white pill balanced on the tip of a woman's fingerBlacks with rheumatoid arthritis are only half as likely to be prescribed more effective drugs that may prevent further joint damage and disability, according to a new study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

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    For the study, researchers surveyed 5,385 rheumatoid arthritis Medicaid patients between ages 50 and 70 in California who were being treated with at least one anti-rheumatic drug between 1998 and 2005. Scientists reviewed participants’ records to identify any differences in the way patients from different racial and ethnic groups were being prescribed anti-arthritis medication, despite similar income level and arthritis severity.

    In addition, researchers determined if patients were prescribed the more potent, biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), or the less powerful standard DMARDs.

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