Enbrel Patent Could Delay Generic Competition Until 2028

“Amgen said Tuesday that a new patent had been granted that could protect its big-selling drug Enbrel from generic competition for 17 more years, a development that could undermine some of the savings contemplated in the federal health care legislation.

Enbrel, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, was one of several biotechnology drugs that were expected to face competition in the next few years from copycat versions, eventually saving the health care system billions of dollars a year. […]

The main patent on Enbrel was to expire in October of next year. But the new patent could stave off such biosimilar competition until Nov. 22, 2028. By that time, Enbrel will have been on the market 30 years, far longer than the 20 years of protection expected in patent law.”

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/23/business/amgens-new-enbrel-patent-may-undercut-health-care-plan.html

Merck Will Pay 950 Million Dollars To Settle Vioxx Investigation

NEW YORK— The U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday that drug maker Merck will pay $950 million to resolve investigations into its marketing of the painkiller Vioxx.

The agency said Merck will pay $321.6 million in criminal fines and $628.4 million as a civil settlement agreement. It will also plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge that it marketed Vioxx as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis before getting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.

Read More: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-merck-vioxx…

Kayleigh Payne

Real Profiles of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Photos © Kayleigh Payne


Kayleigh Payne




Westmeath, Ireland

How long have you lived with RA?

Almost 12 years.

What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with RA?

GET THE RIGHT MEDICAL TEAM AROUND YOU!!! Shop around for the right consultant for you if needs be, I wish I had! I could have saved myself years of agony and severe damage. Also stay positive, its power is invincible. And meet other people with RA, whether in person or online, it has massively improved my outlook.

Do you use any mobility aids?

Sometimes a crutch, very often my husband!!!

How has living with RA helped to improve your life?

I am so empathetic of people with long term illnesses and I doubt I would be so compassionate if I had not felt the pain I have! Also, I am super strong because of it, I can get through anything!

Do you have any visible signs of RA?

It depends how inflamed I am. When I’m in a flare I have little to no mobility which is pretty obvious. I can have a limp at times.

Can you please describe some of your favorite coping strategies for living with RA?

Laughing!!! I am lucky to be surrounded by very funny amazing people who always make me giggle and help release those happy hormones.

Can you please describe your current medical (traditional and alternative) treatments?

I’m currently on methotrexate. I also use yoga to keep me mobile, and I’m part of a support group that focuses on “living well with arthritis”.

Is there anything else about yourself that you would like to share?

I am an eternal optimist. I have been through hell and still have severely bad days, but I let nothing hold me back – I have travelled the world, work full time, do a lot of charity work, and have gone back to do further education, and I also got married this year to a wonderful man and my best friend and plan on having a big family! You can do anything you want, RA or not, once you set your mind to it and make a proper plan.

I would also like to highlight my Young Arthritis Network facebook page for anyone who wants to get involved in the group.

It’s About Us

“RA Guy’s website about living with rheumatoid arthritis is without a doubt the best RA website on the Internet. His posts about his personal journey through life with RA are thoughtful, life affirming, inspirational and down-to-earth. They’re also reliably factual about the disease and the drugs that treat it. He’s an excellent writer with a seemingly endless supply of post ideas. He inspired me to start writing a blog about RA–and I know that he’s inspired many others. He’s also given so many people with RA hope and made us smile even as we face sometimes awful, intractable pain and disability. There are lots of good RA and other autoimmune disease bloggers out there, but I can’t think of anyone else who blogs with RA Guy’s talent and all-out sincerity.” -Anonymous

Earlier this week, I received an email from a health website informing me that my blog had been nominated for an award. To the person who took time out of their busy schedule to write and submit the kind words that are shown above, I want to say thank you. Your comments really meant a lot to me.

I have just written a response letter to this company, however, asking that my blog not be included in this awards program. Why, you might be asking? First of all, when it comes to this wonderful community that has been established online, I’m not a big fan of standing in the spotlight. When I first started blogging, I used my anonymous superhero identity as a way of being able to open up–in every aspect–about what it’s like to live with rheumatoid arthritis. Now that I’ve become comfortable with sharing all of these different aspects of my life, I continue to maintain this anonymity…not because I’m worried about people knowing who I am…but because I don’t want my efforts to be about me, as a person. I want them to be about *each* and *every* one of us who lives with chronic and debilitating conditions.

But most importantly, I have decided not to participate in this contest because even if I were to win such an award, it would never live up to what I feel is the biggest prize of all: receiving messages from people who tell me that after years of struggling with their disease, after years of not being able to smile because of the pain, that they’ve finally been able to laugh, they’ve been able to feel a sense of hope, after stumbling upon my blog. I know what it’s like to be at that point where hope has disappeared. I’ve also been fortunate enough to know what it’s like to see the return of this hope; a hope that keeps growing stronger and stronger with each new day.

Just a few days ago, I received an email from a young gal which said that finding me and my work has definitely been the highlight of her flare up. These words really meant a lot to me. You see, I try to project confidence as often as I can…but many times, I find myself more confused than ever. During these moments, when the challenges of living with RA seem too difficult to overcome, writing down my thoughts and sharing them here on my blog has probably been the one thing that has helped me the most. So, it’s nice to know that others are being helped as well.

In the end, I don’t really think that my blog is about me. It’s about us…all of us, who together continue to figure out how to laugh and cry during the ups and downs of living with chronic illness. All of us, who share both the good and the bad. It’s about those moments of connection, when–without explanation–we truly understand one another. People often comment that what I wrote is *exactly* what they were thinking; and for me this proves that it is as much about your thoughts as it is about my words. This is about all of us, sharing together. For this reason, I respectfully withdraw my nomination.

The truth of the matter is, we are *all* winners.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

During my past almost decade of living with rheumatoid arthritis, there have been many times when the act of walking requires me to concentrate on each and every step. My entire world comes down to tightening my grasp on my crutch handles, and moving one foot in front of another. Yes, I might be moving at a snails pace…but at least I’m moving. Grandmothers with walkers seem to have turbo boost, and ‘average’ people seem to be moving at the speed of light. Throw in some stairs, and…well, you get the picture!

Yesterday I was shuffling through some holiday music on my iPod, when I came across this song from the classic stop-animation version of ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town.’ I’ve heard this before, I thought to myself. Of course, I had seen this show many times when I was a child, back before VCRs and DVDs, when the appearance of Christmas cartoons on prime time network television was the most exciting thing ever…but this is not what I was referring to.

And then it dawned upon me. I realized that during all of these periods over the past ten years, when my ability to walk slowly seemed to be slipping away, I would actually tell myself, over and over, that all I had to do is put one foot in front of the other. This is the reason why this song seemed so familiar to me!

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!