Arthritis Drugs: Newer Is Not Always Better

If your current treatment is working, a new drug with potentially unknown side effects may not be worth the risk.

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The ads all seem to promise the same thing: Take this great new drug and your arthritis pain will be history. Its hard to resist such tempting promotions. New medicines can relieve symptoms and deliver cures to patients who suffer from a number of debilitating diseases, including arthritis. But new isnt always better. When a patent runs out on a drug, and a generic version becomes available, drug companies will often release a new formulation of the old drug with a new brand name. In most cases, the me-too drug isnt any more effective than its counterpart, and it almost always costs more money. Clouding the issue even further is the fact that new drugs dont have to be tested against currently available drugs before theyre marketed to the public.
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