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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disabling autoimmune disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and limitation of motion in multiple joints, as well as inflammation in other organs. An estimated 1.3 million Americans are affected. Traditionally, RA has been treated with synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Since the introduction of biologic agents there has been substantial improvement to the health and quality of life of people who were intolerant of, or nonresponsive to, traditional RA regimens. Recent estimates suggest that nearly 25% of patients with RA are receiving biologic therapies and more patients than ever are achieving clinical remission. Managed care pharmacists face several challenges with respect to the use of biologics, which are classified as specialty drugs in RA. Current treatment approaches recommend early and aggressive treatment with a combination of a synthetic DMARD and a biologic regimen. However, there is currently no way to predict which patient will respond to which regimen and the relative efficacy of different regimens is still a matter of debate. Managed care providers, as members of the multidisciplinary team, should be made aware of the benefits, risks, and system issues involved with administering these agents to their patients.

Through an archived webcast, this activity will offer participants an opportunity to understand how the rheumatology community currently treats RA, the basis for treatment algorithms used, and which clinical practices produce the best patient outcomes.

This activity is designed for managed care pharmacists. No prerequisites required.

The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CPE activity. Upon the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:
  • COMPARE the mechanisms of action of the 4 classes of specialty medications that are currently indicated for the treatment of RA.
  • CITE 2 conclusions from recent pharmacoeconomic studies evaluating the health impact of specialty RA medications on cost effectiveness.
  • DEVELOP management approaches to improve decision-making processes for utilizing appropriate therapies for patients with RA based on recent clinical data and individual patient needs.
  • EMPLOY appropriate counseling messages to patients with RA on the benefits and risks of recommended treatment options.

The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education to provide continuing education for pharmacists.

acpe logo The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. Successful completion of this knowledge-based educational activity will provide a statement for 1.5 contact hour credit (0.15 CEUs) and will be available for download following successful completion of the activity. Successful completion includes taking the pre-test, participating in the activity, completing a self-assessment instrument with a score of at least 70%, and completing an evaluation instrument. If you score less than 70% on the self-assessment instrument, you will be allowed to complete the examination one more time. ACPE Program #0064-0000-11-221-H01-P. Beginning in 2012, your CE credits will also be submitted electronically to NABP. Pharmacists or pharmacy technicians with questions regarding their NABP e-Profile or CPE Monitor should refer to the FAQ section on the NABP website ( or contact NABP Customer Service: or telephone 847-391-4406.

Release Date: December 31, 2011

Expiration Date: December 31, 2012

As an accredited provider by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), it is the policy of The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy to require the disclosure of the existence of any significant financial interest or any other relationship a faculty member or a sponsor has with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) discussed in an educational presentation. The faculty reported the following:

Melanie Swims, PharmD, BCPS (Course Director)
Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Memphis, Tennessee
Dr Swims reports having no relevant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

Pete Penna, PharmD
Principal and Co-Founder
Formulary Resources, LLC
Mercer Island, Washington
Dr Penna reports serving as a consultant for Allergan, Inc, AlphaDetail, AMCP and FMCP, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Cardinal Health, Clarion Healthcare, EpiQ, Genentech, Inc, MedImmune, Meda, RxPerts, SR Associates, Strategicare, The Access Group, The GMR Group, The Capstone Connection, University of Arizona, and VeriTech.

Assil Saleh, MD, MPH
Staff Physician
Georgetown University Hospital
Foxhall Internists, LLC
Washington, DC
Dr Saleh having no relevant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

In accordance with ACPE Criteria for Quality, the audience is advised that presenters in this CPE activity may include reference(s) to unlabeled, unapproved, or investigational uses of therapeutic agents or biomedical devices. The presenters will inform the audience of when they discuss or reference an unapproved, unlabeled, or investigational use of therapeutic agent or biomedical device.

The opinions and recommendations expressed by faculty and other experts whose input is included in this activity are their own. This activity is produced for educational purposes only. Use of The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy name implies review of educational format, design, and approach. Please review the complete prescribing information of specific drugs or combinations of drugs, including indications, contraindications, warnings, and adverse effects, before administering pharmacologic therapy to patients.

A participant, sponsor, faculty member, or other individual wanting to file a grievance with respect to any aspect of an activity sponsored or cosponsored by The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy may contact the Associate Dean for Continuing Education in writing at The grievance will be reviewed and a response will be returned within 45 days of receiving the written statement. If not satisfied, an appeal to the Dean of the College of Pharmacy can be made for a second level review.

There is no fee for this educational activity.


Course Overview and Goals

Overview of Current Evidence-Based Practices in RA

Targeting RA: Recent Clinical Trials

Managed Care Perspectives in RA

Models for Making Decisions About RA Treatment in Managed Care


What you are about to see is a previously recorded live webcast. Please note that only "home study" credit will be awarded for participating in this archived presentation. No "live" credits are available.
procced to pretest
University of Tennessee Advanced Studies in Pharmacy (ISSN-1558-0350), is published by ASiM CE, LLC, d/b/a ASiM, PO Box 340, Somerville, NJ 08876. (908) 253-9001. Copyright ©2017 by ASiM CE, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without first obtaining permission from the publisher. ASiM is a registered trademark of ASiM CE LLC.