A Closer Look at the Latest Advances in the Treatment and Management of Ankylosing Spondylitis

A continuing medical education activity provided by NAMCP and AAMCN

This activity is an archive of the live session from the 2021 Spring Managed Care Forum. If you participated in the live session, you are not eligible for continuing education credits from this archive.

This activity is valid from June 1, 2021 – August 1, 2022

Instructions for CME/NCPD: Complete the pre-test, listen to the audio and view the slides, complete the post test, complete the evaluation form and hit submit. You will be asked to enter your name and email address on the pre-test, evaluation and post-test. If you close your internet browser without completing the post test, you will have ONE more opportunity to complete. A score of 70% must be achieved on the post test to receive continuing education credits. If you do not pass the post test after two attempts, you will not be eligible to try again. Once you complete the evaluation form and score 70% or higher on your post test, you will automatically be given your certificate.

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Audience: This activity is intended for healthcare professionals practicing in managed care environments.

This activity is supported by educational grants from
AbbVie and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an immune-mediated chronic inflammatory disease that typically affects the sacroiliac (SI) joints. Patients with AS suffer from debilitating pain and joint fusion that severely limits their mobility and functional capacity. AS is a form of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), in which SI structural damage is visible on X-rays; the other form is non-radiographic axSpA, in which structural damage has not occurred. It is estimated that AS affects approximately 1.6 million people in the United States. Due to an aging population, declining number of rheumatologists, and limited access to care, care for patients with AS is suboptimal and costly. Fortunately for patients with this disease, recent advances in pathogenesis have led to an increased understanding of the disease, which has subsequently led to the development of novel targeted agents shown to slow its progression, including options targeting IL-17/IL-23 pathways. These new options have dramatically changed the treatment paradigm.

The goals of treatment are to minimize symptoms, maintain spinal flexibility and normal posture, reduce functional limitations, maintain work ability, and prevent the development of disease complications. While tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors (TNFi) changed the clinical trajectory of this disease, the benefits are only demonstrated in patients who respond to TNFis. Between 40% and 50% of patients with AS do not respond to TNFis, and in patients who do, long-term efficacy with disease remission is rarely achieved, which brought about a need for newer options showing improved efficacy and safety. These novel options have produced great benefit for patients who do not respond to a TNFi or who have progressed on that therapy. Additionally, clinicians have recently been finding that novel treatment options, including janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, are promising. These new options have shown improved efficacy and safety in AS, and healthcare professionals must be educated on these agents and the potential risks that come along with any treatment option. However, both practicing physicians and managed care physicians are likely less familiar with these newer therapies in AS and may have safety concerns and cost concerns.

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Examine current unmet clinical and economic needs in the management of ankylosing spondylitis (AS)

  • Apply current guideline recommendations to the diagnosis and treatment of AS

  • Evaluate the latest data on the efficacy, safety, and mechanisms of action of novel biologic therapies for AS

  • Identify the role of IL-17, IL-23, and JAK inhibitors in the treatment of AS

  • Assess multidisciplinary strategies to overcome and manage treatment-related challenges associated with novel targeted options in the management of AS

  • Discuss the managed care considerations of novel treatments by exploring where these agents fit in the current AS management paradigm


Faculty: Joerg Ermann, MD
Associate Physician
Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Instructor in Medicine
Harvard Medical School


Dr. Ermann serves on an advisory board for Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, and UCB. He has received Grants/Research Support from Boehringer Ingelheim, AbbVie, Novartis, and Pfizer. His presentation has been peer reviewed for any bias.
  Planning Committee:
Bill Williams, MD has no financial relationships with ineligible companies to disclose.
Jeremy Williams has no financial relationships with ineligible companies to disclose.
Jacqueline Cole, RN, MS, CMCN has no financial relationships with ineligible companies to disclose.

NAMCP and/or the presenter has copyright or has received permissions for use of materials provided in this activity.

Accreditation & Designation
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 the National Association of Managed Care Physicians (NAMCP) and American Association of Managed Care Nurses (AAMCN). The National Association of Managed Care Physicians is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

NAMCP designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s)TM. Each
physician should claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Association of Managed Care Nurses is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Nurses who complete this activity and achieve a passing score will receive 1 hour in nursing continuing professional development.

This activity has been approved by the American Board of Managed Care Nursing for 1.0 contact hours toward CMCN recertification requirements.

This activity is supported by educational grants from
AbbVie and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

NAMCP and/or this website does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. NAMCP does not endorse or imply endorsement of the content on any linked website. This website is to be used as an informational resource. With any health related concern, consult with your physician or healthcare professional.

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