Volume 29 (2010) Issue 1 Pages 1-17
Successful methods to introduce new treatments in a developed country can vary depending on the national consensus. This may be the most important issue for many experts attempting to popularize a new therapeutic strategy. For example, in Japan, almost 60% of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are treated by orthopedic surgeons. At the moment, it may be true that many practicing orthopedic surgeons are not familiar with new drugs such as infliximab. Consequently, we believe that a manual describing the safe use of infliximab to achieve improved RA therapy could be useful. This manual was originally planned by Dr. Inoue, who was chairman of the Meeting for Biologics Treatment by Orthopedics Experts. The manual was created by approximately 70 selected experts nationwide who are experienced users of infliximab in Japan. Each of the four meetings lasted at least 4 h, and a conclusion was made at the end of each meeting. All the conclusions were finally incorporated into the manual, so it should directly reflect the Japanese situation and provide useful information in the form of practical notes for new users of infliximab. The manual follows the guidelines given by the Japanese College of Rheumatology. The aim of this manual is to help generalize infliximab therapy in Japan, and we really hope that it will be well accepted by many orthopedic surgeons who are involved in RA clinics in their daily work.