Linda was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in April 2010 and she is currently taking part in a clinical trial for Golimumab. This therapy, has significantly improved Linda’s quality of life. She no longer has flares ups that had previously affected her working life. She is awaiting a decision from her PCT as to whether they will pay for her to continue having this treatment.
Linda was diagnosed with rheumatology arthritis in April 2010. Previously, she had experienced pain in her hands, feeling tired and finding it difficult to do things that before she took for granted like opening jars, changing the gears in her car, and so forth. A blood test showed the rheumatoid factor antibody in her blood. Her GP referred her to the rheumatology clinic promptly.
At the rheumatology clinic she was tried on various pharmacological therapies (Sulfasalazine, Hydroxychloroquine and Methotrexate) to help control her condition but unfortunately, Linda continued having regular flare ups. She was taking the maximum dosage of Methotrexate. A year after diagnosis and despite trying different treatments, the joint count of her swollen and tender joints indicated that her RA continued to be severe. She was invited to take part in a clinical trial of a new biological drug’ Golimumab. Linda eagerly accepted as she was ready to try anything that would help improve her condition. In preparation for her new medication she had an appointment with the specialist nurse, who went through everything with her and provided all the information she needed.
The Golimumab treatment has significantly improved Linda’s quality of life. She no longer has the unexpected flare ups and tiredness that she previously experienced. She also continues taking Methotrexate but in a smaller dosage.
At the time of the interview Linda had one more injection of Golimumab to take but it is uncertain whether she will be able to continue with this treatment. Her consultant wrote to the PCT (Primary Care Trust) to find out if they would continue financing Golimumab for her.
One of the positive impacts of Golimumab has been on Linda’s ability to fulfill her work commitments without the anxiety of having unexpected flare ups and consequently, taking time off work. The organisation where Linda works is undergoing restructuring, and Linda knows that without the Golimumab her condition will revert to what it was or get worse, and she is worried that a deterioration of her rheumatoid arthritis may put her at risk of redundancy. Linda is divorced and hers and her daughter’s financial security depend on her.