Certified medical assistants, regardless of what area of medicine they enter, will likely encounter a fair amount of patients with autoimmune diseases throughout their career. One of the most common forms of this sort of illness is Crohn’s disease, an ailment that affects the digestive tract and intestines.
While there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease at this point, there appears to be a recent glimmer of hope as a new drug is faring extremely well in early rounds of testing. HealthDay reports that the drug, Mongersen, has shown great improvements in the short term effects of individuals living with Crohn’s.1
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America has reported that Crohn’s was first diagnosed in the early 1930s.2 The disease can affect all parts of the digestive tract but is most commonly diagnosed in the small bowel or colon. Individuals living with Crohn’s typically experience symptoms including gastrointestinal distress, malnutrition, abdominal cramping and diarrhea.
All cases of the disease differ, though, meaning that each individual case will require its own custom-tailored treatment regimen. Anti-inflammatory medications, among others, are typically prescribed to individuals recently diagnosed with Crohn’s, and medication regimes change over time. Many individuals with the ailment will ultimately require gut surgery.
This new drug, though it still requires a great deal of testing before it can be marketed to larger demographics, poses several advantages over the current popular Crohn’s medications. First and foremost, CBS affiliate WTVY reports that the drug is administered as a pill via oral application.3 This stands in stark contrast to the majority of current Crohn’s drugs, which are routinely administered intravenously. This can require the patient to sit still for greater periods of time and can become a bit of a daily annoyance.
Were Mongersen to make it to the open market, it could see drastic sales success because of this. Further, the majority of individuals treated with the drug found that they entered remission in as little as two weeks, according to HealthDay. In fact, CNN affiliate KY3 reports that two-thirds of the 150 test subjects experienced total remission, a staggering advance.4
Impact on the Medical World
While further testing could take over a year, Mongersen has the potential to make a giant splash in the market for autoimmune medications for Crohn’s disease. If approved by the Food and Drug Administration and distributed by large scale pharmaceutical companies, the medicine could drastically alter the way that the condition is treated.
This is due both to its phenomenal results in clinical tests thus far and its extremely accessible oral application method. While only time will tell exactly how successful it becomes, cost is sure to be a decisive factor in its potential market rollout, as well as any potential side effects that emerge through further testing.
1) Norton, Amy, HealthDay, ‘New Drug For Crohn’s Disease Shows Early Promise,’ 3/18/2015, http://consumer.healthday.com/clinical-trials-information-35/clinical-trials-news-136/new-drug-for-crohn-s-disease-shows-early-promise-697552.html
2) The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, ‘What is Crohn’s Disease?,’ 2015, http://www.ccfa.org/what-are-crohns-and-colitis/what-is-crohns-disease/
3) WTVY, ‘New Drug Developed to Treat Crohn’s Disease,’ 3/20/2015, http://www.wtvy.com/news/headlines/New-Drug-Developed-to-Treat-Crohns-Disease-297025761.html
4) KY3, ‘New Oral Drug to Treat Crohn’s Disease Shows Great Promise, 3/20/2015, http://www.ky3.com/news/local/new-oral-drug-to-treat-crohns-disease-showing-great-promise/21048998_31913370