Researchers recently reviewed the current Lupus treatment patterns within the United States, Germany, France, Italy, UK, and Spain, in order to assess any needs regarding a more defined and efficient pathway when it comes to therapies regarding the condition.
Two-hundred and sixty-three rheumatologists in the UK and US completed patient record forms for their next five patients, and they asked these individuals to complete a form as well, describing how the disease has affected them.
Major differences were found between current treatment classes within the UK and US when it came to first and second line of therapy. Worldwide, just over 84 percent of lupus sufferers receive steroids (glucocorticoids) continually, despite the high risk around the treatment. An increased portion of UK patients have taken glucocorticoids (GCS) for a minimum of six months plus, versus lupus patients in the US.
Karen H. Costenbader, the study’s author noted that these recent figures around real-world clinical rheumatology lupus practice and treatment options for European and the US patients show disturbingly high rates when it comes to usage of glucocorticoid usage, yet quite low rates of biologic usage. Glucocorticoid rate use was a tad higher in Europe, versus the US; however, both regions most likely have various reason when it comes to glucocorticoids overuse, where the treatment also has multiple adverse side effects, both in the long- and short-term. She went on to note that these “reasons” could be due to restrictions around medical insurance when it comes to accessing more expensive medications, as well as a decrease in acute efficacy around other lupus therapies.
Lupus.org advises that the major differences between regions when it comes to how lupus treatment is approached showcases the need for added understanding around this medication, as well as a united approach worldwide when it comes to lupus patient treatment pathways. The study team believes an update to the condition’s guidelines is required to better assess the risks and benefits of GCS, versus other therapies.