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Professor du Souich: “Chondroitin sulfate, alone or combined with glucosamine, could actually delay knee OA progression and the need for replacement surgery”

14 Nov 2012

According to the president of the International Union of Pharmacy (IUPHAR), Professor Patrick du Souich, from the University of Montreal, widespread use of that drug could bring important improvements to the life quality of OA patients, as well as significant reduction costs for our national healthcare servicesAlong the same lines, Professor Jean- Pierre Pelletier, from the University of Montreal, presented a clinical essay that concluded that chondroitin sulfate protects from cartilage volume loss, thus saving many knee OA and synovitis patients from undergoing replacement surgery. Both experts took part in the symposium “Treatment Success in Osteoarthritis: Advances in Pharmacologic Therapy”, sponsored by Biobérica Farma, the only Spanish company that has sponsored a symposium during the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Rheumatology that is taking place in Washington

Barcelona, November 14th, 2012. “An efficient treatment of OA must focus on multiple physiopathological aspects, including cartilage loss and joint damage” affirmed Professor Patrick du Souich, president of the International Union of Pharmacology (IUPHAR) and director of the department of pharmacology at the University of Montreal. Du Souich, a recognized osteoarthritis expert, declared that “For years, many clinical essays support the use of chondroitin sulphate, alone or mixed with glucosamine for the treatment of OA patients. There is increasing evidence that both drugs can delay the disease’s progression, and therefore delay replacement surgery as well”.

Professor du Souich read an exhaustive review of clinical trials carried out so far, demonstrating the chondroprotective effect of these products, and the positive social and economic benefits that could derive from its widespread use: “delaying cartilage degradation not only means improving life quality of patients- it also means less replacement surgery operations. This would allow for important social cost reductions in the management of that disease”.

Precisely, one of the studies reviewed by Professor du Souich was the one presented during the same meeting by Professor Jean-Pierre Pelletier, head, chair in OA research at the University of Montreal (Canada). His article, already published by Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases in 2011, discussed the monitoring of a clinical trial of patients being treated with either chondroitin sulfate or placebo. They proved, by means of MRIs, that chondroitin sulfate exerts a protective effect, i.e., delays the loss of cartilage volume, as well as reducing the number of subchondral bone injuries. An additional four years follow-on monitoring evidenced that the placebo group underwent more replacement surgery (69%) than the group receiving chondroitin sulfate treatment (31%). “We can conclude that chondroitin sulfate protects from cartilage volume loss, thus saving many synovitis and knee OA patients from having to undergo replacement surgery”, said Professor Pelletier.

Both experts took part in the symposium “Treatment Success in Osteoarthritis: Advances in Pharmacologic Therapy” hosted by Bioiberica Farma. That symposium was one of the educational activities of the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Rheumatology. “Bioibérica is the only Spanish company that has been present at the Educational Program of that scientific society for the last seven years, cooperating in the formation in osteoarthritis of North American rheumatologists”, said Dr. Josep Vergés, Medical and Scientific Director of Bioiberica Farma. The meeting, that is being hosted during this week in Washington, it is attended by more than 15,000 rheumatologists from around the world.

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