Between 3 and 5% of the population suffer from a form of inflammatory rheumatism. It affects approximately 250,000 – 400,000 people in Austria. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the commonest and also the most dangerous forms of this inflammatory rheumatic disease. Around 30% of patients achieve remission, that is to say successful control of symptoms, after just one or two years. However, despite frequent changes in treatment, many other patients have to endure the active form of the disease on an ongoing basis. A multicentre, multinational study has now shown that a new drug (sirukumab) is a very promising treatment option for these “refractory” patients.