“These were used 30 years ago, and we are talking about 21st century United States, not an underdeveloped country with no access to medication. They have high toxicity and limited benefits for patients with RA,” she says. “At some point, they were all we had, but today methotrexate is a first-line medication used for rheumatoid arthritis.”
Dr. Shakoory was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis during her rheumatology fellowship and attends the fly-in because her experiences have given her first-hand knowledge of the challenges and barriers to providing and receiving care.
This year’s agenda also includes asking for dedicated, line-item research funding for RA from the Department of Defense. “It is the second leading cause of medical discharge from the military after battlefield trauma,” says Dr. Harvey.