Arthritis Today
Biologic Drug Arthritis Medicine Image Credit: Arthritis Today
Biologic Drug Arthritis Medicine Image Credit: Arthritis Today

Biologics: The Turning Point

For many people with inflammatory arthritis, the introduction of biologic drugs two decades ago was life-changing.

Mary Anne Dunkin

One morning in 2001, Suzanne Schrandt woke up feeling as though something were missing, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. “Was there an appointment I was meant to attend?” she wondered. “Had I misplaced my wallet? My car keys?” Schrandt, who was 24 at the time, walked to her car to leave for work. She gripped the door handle with both hands and – as usual – braced herself for the pain that opening the car door caused. Then, “Whoosh! I whipped the door open almost violently, throwing myself a bit off-balance, and finally [realized] that the missing thing was pain,” she recalls.

Diagnosed 10 years earlier with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Schrandt had scarcely known a day without pain for more than a decade, despite the treatments that began shortly after her 14th birthday. So when her doctor prescribed infliximab (Remicade), a new type of drug given by infusion, she had been skeptical. But that morning after her first infusion, she became a believer, and she was repeatedly amazed in the following weeks as she went about her daily activities without pain.

“My rheumatologists have told me time and again there is no way I could have had such a dramatic response within a 24-hour period,” Schrandt says. “But all I know is what I felt that day, and it was nothing short of miraculous.”

For countless people like her, infliximab and the other so-called biologic respon


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