I hesitate to say “fair,” because life isn’t fair – and we all know it. But some things just aren’t RIGHT!
As a science person, I quite understand keeping all the criteria tight so that generalizations can be made and studies can be compared to one another. BUT – – – There is such a thing as criteria being so tight in drug and treatments studies that the very participants that will benefit the most, or whose reactions could contribute to understanding of disease processes are excluded.
RA Warrior was excluded from an RA drug study because her CRP was suppressed on her current medication cocktail. BUT – – – her disease process is NOT suppressed. She still has joint swelling, joint pain, fatigue and decreased functionality. All of these are things that RA drugs are supposed to help with. Just suppressing lab indices is not “where it’s at.” “Where it’s at,” is making the patient more functional.
There is a desperate need for some revised criteria for RA drug trials. How about – include people whose C-Reative Protein labs are NOT suppressed on their current drug regimen, AND those whose C-Reative Protein labs ARE suppressed BUT whose pain, joint swelling, fatigue, and/or functionality are not being helped? What might that tell us? We already know that RA patient respond differently to different medications – i.e., the same medication does not work equally well (or at all) for all patients. How about actually believing patients when they tell you they are in too much pain, have too much swelling or have too much fatigue to work, play, LIVE a normal life?
What could that tell us about RA? What could it tell us about the drugs that are supposed to modify the disease manifestations and course?
We won’t know unless – until – the drug company grants people allow different criteria for their trials.