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    Pfizer Press release

Pfizer Global Survey Finds Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis Who Feel Comfortable Speaking Up About Their Concerns Have a More Positive View of Their Health

Healthcare professionals can “dig deeper” to help patients find satisfaction with disease management plans

Pfizer announced initial results of its global survey of more than 3,600 adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 13 countries. The RA NarRAtive patient survey is the first of its kind to simultaneously evaluate the patient and healthcare professional (HCP) relationship and communication, as well as the patient’s experience and satisfaction with treatment and disease management. The data show that a patient’s perception of their RA and its treatment, as well as their relationship with their HCP, can impact the management of their disease.1


“More than 23 million people worldwide have RA, many of whom are struggling to manage living with this debilitating illness. The RA NarRAtive survey results indicate that some of the keys to living successfully are having open dialogue and setting treatment goals with healthcare professionals, as well as connecting with patient support groups,” says Freda Lewis-Hall, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer. “The RA NarRAtive is an important initiative for Pfizer as we continuously work to better understand what helps people with RA live better.”

The survey, created and sponsored by Pfizer, was fielded online by Harris Poll between September 2014 and January 2015 as part of the company’s ongoing global collaboration with the RA NarRAtive Advisory Panel comprised of 27 RA experts – including physicians and leaders from patient advocacy groups.

Survey data illustrate:

  • Patients’ perceptions of their RA treatment satisfaction and their relationships with their HCP can positively impact the management of their disease.1 The survey shows that patients who feel comfortable raising concerns and fears with their doctor or health care professional (HCP) are more likely to describe their current overall health as excellent or good (43% vs 29%) than patients who are uncomfortable.1
  • Yet, barriers remain. There is a disconnect between self-reported treatment satisfaction and status of disease that can impact RA management.1 In the survey, nearly 4 in 5 patients who are taking prescription medicines for their RA are satisfied with their regimen (78%) but only 30% of those same patients self-described their RA as “under control.” This disconnect between professed satisfaction and perceived control is even more pronounced in patients whose HCP has described their patients’ RA as moderate-to-severe or severe.
  • Although shared decision-making when establishing treatment goals is a widely acknowledged best practice, the survey shows that patients may not be communicating goals and/or concerns to their HCPs, especially surrounding RA disease management and treatment options.1 Although the majority of patients who currently see an HCP to manage their RA (83%) state they are satisfied with the communication they have with their HCP about their RA treatment, the majority of patients (85%) also note that there are some things that would help them more successfully manage their RA when it comes to their relationship with their HCP.
  • Some patients may not be achieving optimal disease management despite the availability of numerous treatments and treatment regimens.Forty-seven percent (47%) of all patients with RA surveyed have stopped doing or participating in certain activities. Moreover, when asked about RA medication(s), 42% of all respondents agree that treating their RA is as difficult as living with the disease.

“The survey indicates optimal RA management may not be occurring when patients do not feel encouraged to express goals, ask questions and accurately convey their satisfaction or lack thereof,” explains RA NarRAtive Advisory Panel Co-Chair Dr. Alan Gibofsky, Rheumatologist, Hospital for Special Surgery. “The RA NarRAtive Global Advisory Panel encourages physicians not to take a ‘satisfied’ response at face value and ask more follow-up questions when assessing the disease activity status of their patients with RA.”

“The data from the RA NarRAtive showcase how shared decision-making practices can help improve patient outcomes,” comments Clare Jacklin, Director of External Affairs, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS). “We need to elevate the voice of the patient in conversations around setting RA disease management and treatment goals.”

Next Steps for the RA NarRAtive Initiative

The RA NarRAtive is an ongoing initiative sponsored by Pfizer and led by the Global RA NarRAtive Advisory Panel. To complement the patient survey, the RA NarRAtive will explore rheumatologist opinions by fielding a corresponding survey.

Visit: to learn more and download resources about the RA NarRAtive initiative.

About the RA NarRAtive Patient Survey Methodology

The RA NarRAtive Patient Survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Pfizer between September 4, 2014 and January 13, 2015 among 3,649 adults ages 18 years of age or older who have been diagnosed with RA in 13 countries [Argentina (n=217), Australia (n=481), Brazil (n=324), Canada (n=237), France (n=122), Germany (n=525), Italy (n=204), Japan (n=354), South Korea (n=168), Spain (n=122), Turkey (n=123), the UK (n=246), and the US (n=526)]. For complete research method, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Steven Danehy (212-733-1538) OR visit

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease that typically affects the hands and feet, although any joint lined by the synovial membrane can be affected.2 RA causes a range of symptoms, including stiffness and swelling in the joints,3 particularly those in the hands, feet and knees.2

Although the exact cause of RA is unknown, 2 it is considered to be an autoimmune disease, because the immune system in people with RA mistakes the body’s healthy tissues for a threat and attacks them.Some people are at increased risk of developing RA, including people with a family history of RA, smokers and women.4 Three times as many women are affected by RA compared to men.RA affects approximately 23.7 million people worldwideand 1.6 million people in the United States.6,7 It can develop at any time during adulthood, but it usually occurs between 40 and 70 years of age.3

Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier world®

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of healthcare products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer healthcare products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments, and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with healthcare providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable healthcare around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more, please visit us at

1. Data on file. Pfizer Inc, New York, NY. [RA NarRAtive Patient Survey. 2015.]
2. Medline Plus, “Rheumatoid Arthritis” Accessed 11 October 2011. Available at
3. Lee DM, Weinblatt ME. Rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet. 2001; 358:903-911.
4. Mayo Clinic, “Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Accessed 14 September 2011. Available at
5. World Health Organization, “The Global Burden of Disease, 2004 Update.” Accessed 13 March 2012. Available at
6. Sacks, J., Lou, Y., Helmick, C. Prevalence of Specific Types of Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Conditions in the Ambulatory Health Care System in the United States 2001-2005. Arthritis Care and Research. 2010. 62(4): 460- 464.
7. Howden, L., Meyer, J., 2010 U.S. Census Bureau results --- U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Summary File 1.

This press release has an accompanying Smart Marketing Page providing further details about the organization, products and services introduced above. You can access the Smart Marketing Page via the following link:

Steven Danehy
Office: 212-733-1538
[email protected]

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