The market for osteoarthritis therapeutics is anticipated to be marginally affected due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Among drug types, the use of corticosteroids has reduced. Although there is no evidence to suggest that corticosteroid injections lead to a substantial increase in the risk of infection, there is a possible reduction in the immune response for up to a few weeks following the procedure.
It should also be noted that the WHO, in one of its guidelines for the management of severe acute respiratory infection in patients with coronavirus, suggested avoiding systemic corticosteroids.
Topical, oral, and parenteral pain medications are widely used to manage pain associated with osteoarthritis. Although alternatives such as orthopedic braces are used as part of a noninvasive approach for pain management, the adoption of pain medications for the condition is high owing to the ease of administration and the affordability of pain medications.
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Pain relievers such as oral analgesics (acetaminophen and NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, tramadol, opiates, and duloxetine), topical agents (such as capsaicin and topical NSAIDs), intra-articular agents (such as corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid), and nutraceuticals (glucosamine and chondroitin) are widely used. Studies reveal that these medications offer a 30% reduction of chronic pain on administration.
OTC and prescription NSAIDs are widely used to relieve pain in osteoarthritis patients. As per a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2019, more than 50% of osteoarthritis patients in the US are prescribed NSAIDs. Similarly, in Europe, of the total number of osteoarthritis patients using prescription medications (47%), 60% received NSAIDs.
Essential features of biomarkers that will have clinical relevance for a personalized approach to therapy for RA include the ease of measurement, acceptable levels of sensitivity and specificity, and test methods that are accessible and interpretable by clinicians.
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