In Tuesday’s San Francisco Chronicle, columnist Jon Carroll went off on an ad that’s run lately in his paper and others promoting a drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The drug is called Humira, and Carroll is aghast at warnings in the ad, which advise that people taking this drug might be at risk for fatal infections, heart failure, and “certain types of cancers.”
“I look at the risk-benefit ratio, and I worry,” Carroll concludes, and understandably so.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, characterized by inflammation of the lining of the joints. It can be painful and even disabling.
Of course, there’s a drug that’s a well-documented pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, and there is already some evidence that it may work for rheumatoid arthritis. It doesn’t cause fatal infections, cancer, or heart failure. But you won’t see major drug companies advertising it. Can you name this drug?