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Last Friday, 10/20, Janssen Biotech announced that its RA drug, Simponi Aria, received FDA approval for treating adults with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) or active ankylosing spondylitis (AS). First of all, I’m on Simponi Aria and I’m doing as well or better than I have since my diagnosis. If PsA and AS patients can get the kind of results I have, it will make a world of difference in their lives.

But beyond that — why does this announcement matter to RA patients?

I think there are a couple of things that make this important.

First of all — a common treatment underscores the connection between these inflammatory diseases. This means that research into what causes one of them very well could lead to discoveries for the others.

Second — this demonstrates the potential for other drugs to be used for multiple conditions. As medications are developed for one inflammatory condition, this kind of news supports seeking approval for treatment of other diseases. This makes drugs for patients (including RA patients) available much more quickly than researching, developing, and approving a completely new treatment.

So congratulations to Janssen on these approvals. And congratulations to the people with PsA and AS, and the rest of us with inflammatory conditions that proven drugs are now available to a broader range of patients.

I hope whatever approvals are pending in your life are also successful. Thanks for checking in.