Guidance is a ‘living document’
“We will be providing updates to the Clinical Guidance Document as the need arises,” Dr. Gravallese emphasized. While the general recommendations are unlikely to change very much, “the task force will be interested in seeing the results of all new data, but the results of randomized, clinical trials will be particularly important as they become available,” she said. In particular, randomized, controlled trials of glucocorticoids and IL-6 receptor blockade for use in COVID-19 will be of great importance.
“In this initial document, we could not take on all of the medical scenarios our members will face. For example, we could not take on recommendations for the pediatric population as this group of patients has a very different response than adults to the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” Dr. Gravallese acknowledged. The plan is to provide guidance for that group of patients soon.
In addition, the ACR Executive Committee has appointed a Practice and Advocacy Task Force that will “address issues rheumatologists face on the practice side, including advice regarding how to effectively use telemedicine, address the frequency and safety of infusions, determine urgent versus nonurgent issues that would or would not require face-to-face visits, and help with financial challenges.”
The American College of Rheumatology supported the guidance-development process. Dr. Mikuls, Dr. Weinblatt, Dr. Cohen, and Dr. Costenbader each disclosed research support or consultancies with multiple pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Gravallese had no disclosures.
SOURCE: Mikuls TR et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020 Apr 29. .