Chronic inflammation is related to a wide variety of conditions, from arteriosclerosis to diabetes.
Inflammatory disease is a general term that applies to autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammatory conditions in which a person’s immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. Familiar inflammatory diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis. These diseases can affect almost any bodily organ, and in most cases more than one organ or organ system. While the classic sign of disease is inflammation, other symptoms may include joint stiffness, pain, loss of function, and rashes, with periods of remission and periods of increased disease activity (flare-ups). The burden of inflammatory diseases includes the number of comorbid conditions, work days missed, decreased quality of life, and shortened life-span.
These conditions are life-long, and therapies are designed to increase remission time and decrease flare-ups. Treatments typically include immunosuppressants and are not without risks, as opportunistic infections are a common problem. Many medications target the inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-a or IL-6; long-term effects of some biologics and biosimilars are unknown.
Estimates of the number of Americans suffering from autoimmune diseases range from 14 million to nearly 24 million, but all agree that the numbers are increasing. According to Managed Care Magazine, three of the six best-selling prescription medications in 2015 were used to treat inflammatory disorders; spending accounted for approximately 20% of all specialty drug spending.
Our expertise in the field of inflammatory diseases includes expert study design and analysis of administrative claims data (Medicare and MarketScan). Regarding conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis, our experience lies in epidemiology, prevalence of comorbid conditons, health care utilization, outcomes and mortality, and treatment patterns analysis.
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