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Key Considerations in the 2015 ACR Guidelines for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Incorporating Updated ACR Guidelines Into Clinical Care
1 ANCC Contact Hours 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)
Launch Date:
November 23, 2016
Expiration Date:
The accreditation for this activity has expired.

Primary Audience:

Rheumatologists, internal medicine physicians with a secondary interest in rheumatology

Relevant Terms:

Rheumatoid arthritis, American College of Rheumatology

Kenneth G. Saag, MD, MSc

Kenneth G. Saag, MD, MSc
Jane Knight Lowe Professor, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology
Vice Chair, Department of Medicine
Director, Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs)
Center for Outcomes, Effectiveness Research and Education (COERE), and Center for Research Translation (CORT) in Gout and Hyperuriemia
Birmingham, AL

Dr. Saag is a rheumatologist and outcomes researcher with expertise in musculoskeletal disorder pharmacoepidemiology and clinical focus in bone health. He is the only rheumatologist on the Board of Directors of National Osteoporosis Foundation. He is experienced in population-based investigations, working with large databases, and quality indicator development. Dr. Saag is on the FDA Arthritis Advisory Committee and recently co-chaired the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement on Osteoporosis. He is on the editorial board of Archives of Internal Medicine, Arthritis Care and Research, and Arthritis Research and Therapy. Dr. Saag has previously chaired the Arthritis Foundation Clinical, Therapeutics and Outcomes Study Section, has served on several NIH study sections, IOM Committees, national committees to develop both arthritis and osteoporosis guidelines, the Musculoskeletal Workgroup of the Cochrane Collaboration, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance Workgroup on Arthritis Quality Indicators.

Daniel E. Furst, MD

Daniel E. Furst, MD
Carl M. Pearson Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology
David Geffen School of Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Dr. Furst is the first Carl M. Pearson Professor in Rheumatology. He has been on a number of national committees concerned with rheumatic therapeutics, including as a member and fellow in the American College of Rheumatology and The American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Dr. Furst has published more than 400 articles and 12 books, including more than 180 research articles and more than 210 reviews or chapters, in addition to two editions of a book on scleroderma. Dr. Furst's areas of research interest include RA, scleroderma and polymyositis/dermatomyositis.
1. Describe changes to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) management recommendations in the 2015 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) guidelines 
2. Assess the clinical applicability of currently recommended strategies for the management of common comorbidities such as congestive heart failure, hepatitis B and C, malignancies, and serious infection that are found in patients with RA
3. Select appropriate second-line therapy following failure of methotrexate in accordance with 2015 ACR guidelines 
4. Provide appropriate vaccinations for patients with RA in accordance with 2015 ACR guidelines

Joint Providership Statement
This activity is jointly provided by Global Education Group and Global Academy for Medical Education.
Educational Support
This activity is supported by an educational grant from Genentech.
Physician Accreditation Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Global Education Group (Global) and Global Academy of Medical Education. Global is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Physician Credit Designation
Global Education Group designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Nursing Continuing Education
Global Education Group is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s COA.
This educational activity for 1.0 contact hours is provided by Global Education Group. Nurses should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Target Audience
Primary: Rheumatologists, internal medicine physicians with a secondary in rheumatology
Secondary: Physician assistants (PAs), nurse practitioners (NPs), and nurses in rheumatology
Program Overview
Guidelines from major societies, such as EULAR and ACR, have remission or low disease activity as the chief goal of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Large-scale studies of this Treat to Target approach in RA have consistently reported improved outcomes compared to usual care. The major therapeutic advances that allowed clinicians to target remission in RA include the introduction of low-dose methotrexate and the development of biologic agents. In the late 1990s, the first biologic agents were approved for the treatment of RA. The approval of new non-TNF biologic agents (eg, tocilizumab) and a novel small-molecule therapeutic (tofacitinib), as well as emerging data describing the use of biologics in specific patient populations have both introduced new tools for implementation of Treat to Target goals and raised questions regarding the most appropriate therapy for individual patients. The new ACR treatment guidelines include new recommendations that reflect our emerging understanding of these agents. This program provides clinicians with an evidence-based review of these new guidelines and their application to clinical practice.
Program Agenda
  • Program Overview
    Kenneth Saag, MD
  • Management of RA After Non-Response to Methotrexate
    Daniel E. Furst, MD
  • The Management of RA Patients With High-Risk Comorbidities
    Daniel E. Furst, MD
  • Using Tofacitinib and Short-Term Glucocorticoids in the Management of RA
    Kenneth Saag, MD
  • Conclusion
    All faculty
Term of Offering
This activity was released on December 1, 2016 and is valid for one year. Requests for credit must be made no later than November 30, 2017.
Global Contact Information
For information about the accreditation of this program, please contact Global at 303-395-1782 or inquire@globaleducationgroup.com.
Instructions for Obtaining Credit
In order to receive credit, participants must complete the online evaluation and post-test at the end of this program. Participants must also score at least a 65% on the post-test. Statements of credit will be issued upon completion of the evaluation and post-test.
System Requirements
Microsoft Windows 2000 SE or above.
Flash Player Plugin (v7.0.1.9 or greater)
Internet Explorer (v5.5 or greater), or Firefox
Adobe Acrobat Reader
MAC OS 10.2.8
Flash Player Plugin (v7.0.1.9 or greater)
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh.
Fee Information& Refund/Cancellation Policy
There is no fee for this educational activity.
Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest
Global Education Group (Global) requires instructors, planners, managers and other individuals and their spouse/life partner who are in a position to control the content of this activity to disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest they may have as related to the content of this activity. All identified conflicts of interest are thoroughly vetted by Global for fair balance, scientific objectivity of studies mentioned in the materials or used as the basis for content, and appropriateness of patient care recommendations.
The faculty reported the following financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CME activity:
Name of Faculty or Presenter
Reported Financial Relationship
Daniel E. Furst, MD
Consultant/Independent Contractor for: AbbVie, Actelion, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cytori, Gilead, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche/Genentech.
Grant/Research Support from: AbbVie, Actelion, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche/Genentech
Kenneth G. Saag, MD, MSc
Consultant/Independent Contractor for Abbott, Amgen, Ardea/AstraZeneca, BMS, Lilly, Merck, Pfizer, Roche/Genentech
The planners and managers reported the following financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CME activity:
Name of Planner or Manager
Reported Financial Relationship
Ashley Marostica, RN, MSN
Nothing to disclose
Amanda Glazar, PhD
Nothing to disclose
Laura Gilsdorf
Nothing to disclose
Ron Schaumburg Nothing to disclose
Mike LoPresti
Nothing to disclose
Scott Kober
Nothing to disclose
Disclosure of Unlabeled Use
This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. Global Education Group (Global) and Global Academy of Medical Education do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications. 
The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization associated with this activity. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.
Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of patient conditions and possible contraindications on dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.