For many people with the chronic, lifelong condition of RA, finding the right treatment can be a challenge.2 Through Honestly RA, Sanofi and Regeneron sought to take a very honest look at life with RA, in hopes of better understanding patient needs when it comes to treatment and overall support. The Honestly RA program includes a series of shareable illustrations, designed to recognize the emotional impact of the daily struggles, frustrations and triumphs of living with RA. For more information on the survey and to view and share the illustrations, visit HonestlyRA.com.
The survey found that because treatments don’t always work as well as patients would like, people living with RA have tried an average of more than four prescription medications in the last 5 years.1
In addition, the survey revealed a need for more support of RA patients, particularly when it comes to the conversations they have with their physicians about treatments. Although a majority of respondents say that doctors are their go-to source for information on treatment options for RA (91 percent), many people living with RA (58 percent) delay seeing a doctor right away if their treatment stops working.1 Those surveyed cited several reasons for the delay, including because they think the symptoms will go away on their own (41 percent of those who delay) or they don’t want to switch to a perceived stronger medication with potentially more side effects (37 percent of those who delay).1
“The Honestly RA results reveal there is a clear need for more support of RA patients – from management of the disease impact on their life to the conversations that they have with their physicians,” said Dr. Olga Petryna, Rheumatologist and Clinical Instructor at NYU Langone. “Many patients are dissatisfied with their current treatment and express frustration when a switch in treatment is needed. That’s why physicians and the broader support community need to engage those patients who may be struggling to meet their treatment goals in an open conversation.”
Notably, people with RA also feel a lack of empathy from others around them. Ninety percent of Honestly RA respondents said that given RA is a largely “invisible” disease, it is frustrating when others do not understand how much pain they are in.1
“My pain affects almost every area of my life – work, travel, spending time with friends and family – and it can be frustrating when someone doesn’t understand the impact,” said RA patient, blogger and advocate, Angela Lundberg. “I know it can be difficult, but I encourage everyone living with RA to not be afraid of speaking up, initiating a conversation with your doctor about treatment and celebrating all of your little achievements – no matter how small they seem, or how hard they are for someone else to understand.”
About the Survey
Honestly RA included data from 1,004 patients aged 18 and up in the U.S. who self-reported they were diagnosed with RA and whose treatment journey had progressed beyond just a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID). The online survey was fielded between July 25 and August 8, 2016 by Edelman Intelligence on behalf of Sanofi and Regeneron.
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi is organized into five global business units: Diabetes and Cardiovascular, General Medicines and Emerging Markets, Sanofi Genzyme, Sanofi Pasteur and Consumer Healthcare. Sanofi is listed in Paris (SAN.PA) and in New York (SNY).
About Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Regeneron (REGN) is a leading science-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, invents, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions. Regeneron commercializes medicines for eye diseases, high LDL cholesterol, atopic dermatitis and a rare inflammatory condition and has product candidates in development in other areas of high unmet medical need, including rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, pain, cancer and infectious diseases. For additional information about the company, please visit www.regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.