Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Practice A Patient’s Journey

Rheumatoid arthritis

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 31 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7095

Rapid Response:

Consultant rheumatologist learning about clinical trial and NICE guideline on rheumatoid arthritis from a patient

The story can be summed up thus: rheumatoid arthritis is chronic,
painful, progressive disease often leading to deformities and disability;
can affect patients at young age, even children; can be very severe and
debilitating; can affect parts of the body other than the joints; the
treatment has changed over the last 40 years and it is now much more
effective then it used to be; sometimes does not respond to treatment; can
affect longevity. Is it possible that doctors, including GPs and
rheumatologists, do not know this and the BMJ feel it should publish an
account such as this in order to educate them?

This heartwarming story of patient in daily battle with adversity
will sit very well in a newspaper, but in a medical journal? Please split
the BMJ into newspaper edition and medical edition and let us choose which
one to subscribe.

May I humbly suggest to any consultant rheumatologist that when the
day comes when their patients know 'the outcome of the clinical trial or
NICE guidance' on rheumatoid arthritis before they do, that should be the
day for them to consider taking a refreshing course or perhaps retiring.

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 January 2011
Nikolai Manassiev
1 Goodrest Croft , Yardley Wood, B14 4JU