Biologic Switching and Discontinuation in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis

June 7, 2010
Consultantlive Staff
Consultantlive Staff

Volume 22, Issue 4

More than half of patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were treated with a biologic discontinued treatment, and another 12% switched to at least 1 other biologic within a 2-year treatment period, according to a study led by Chureen Carter, PharmD, of Centocor Ortho Biotech Services.

More than half of patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were treated with a biologic discontinued treatment, and another 12% switched to at least 1 other biologic within a 2-year treatment period, according to a study led by Chureen Carter, PharmD, of Centocor Ortho Biotech Services.

The study included 1794 patients who were treated with biologics; 77% of the patients were women. Results showed that 1168 patients either switched treatment or discontinued treatment.1 On average, the first switch from a biologic occurred after 269 days of treatment and discontinuation occurred after 197 days of treatment. A rheumatologist prescribed more than 80% of these first switches. Of the 222 patients who switched biologics at least once, 71 switched a second time and 15 switched a third time. “Further studies are needed to investigate the reasons for biologic switching and discontinuation and the consequent impact on clinical and economic outcomes,” concluded the authors.

References:

Reference
1. Carter CT, Tang B, Buysman E, Piech CT. Two-year longitudinal study of biologic switching and discontinuation among rheumatoid arthritis patients in a health plan. Presented at: Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy 22nd Annual Meeting and Showcase; April 9-10, 2010; San Diego.