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News Summary: Pfizer rheumatoid arthritis drug

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The Associated Press | November 6, 2012 06:11 PM EST | AP


APPROVAL: Pfizer Inc. says the Food and Drug Administration approved its rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz, a twice-per-day pill.

WHO IT'S FOR: Xeljanz is designed to slow the progression of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. It is approved for patients who either cannot take methotrexate, a standard treatment for the disease, or haven't been helped by it. Xeljanz interferes with enzymes that contribute to tissue inflammation.

THE BIG PICTURE: Rheumatoid arthritis is a major area of research for drug companies because it is a chronic condition, meaning patients will likely take the drugs regularly for a long time.