Treatment patterns in rheumatoid arthritis patients newly initiated on biologic and conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy and enrolled in a North American clinical registry.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Arthritis research & therapy


washington; seattle; swedish; Adult; Antirheumatic Agents; Arthritis, Rheumatoid; Biological Products; Cohort Studies; Humans; North America; Registries; Retrospective Studies; Treatment Outcome


BACKGROUND: Understanding the evolving treatment patterns in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is important for rheumatologists to make the best practice decisions and optimize treatment. Here, we describe treatment patterns among patients newly initiated on biologic and/or nonbiologic RA therapy over time after enrollment in the US Corrona RA registry.

METHODS: This was a retrospective, cohort study of adult patients with RA enrolled in the Corrona RA registry. Patients were included in this study if they initiated therapy with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (csDMARD) monotherapy, TNF inhibitor (TNFi) monotherapy, other (non-TNFi) biologic monotherapy, or combination therapy (index therapy); initiated therapy between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2015 (index date), after enrollment in the Corrona RA registry; had at least 6 months of follow-up time after the index date; and had at least one follow-up visit. Time periods of interest were based on the year of index therapy initiation: 2004-2007, 2008-2011, and 2012-2015.

RESULTS: This study included 8027 patients. csDMARD monotherapy and TNFi + csDMARD combination therapy were the most common index therapies in the registry (39.9% and 44.9%, respectively, in the 2004-2007 period; 38.6% and 38.2%, respectively, in the 2008-2011 period; and 35.2% for both in the 2012-2015 period). At therapy initiation, a higher proportion of patients who initiated other biologics, whether as monotherapies (54.0%) or in combination with csDMARD (49.9%), had high disease activity than those who initiated csDMARD monotherapy (28.4%). For 2012-2015 vs 2004-2007 and 2008-2011 periods, persistence on a given therapy appeared to decrease for the TNFi monotherapy cohort (48.2% vs 64.3% and 52.4%) and other biologic monotherapy cohort (52.3% vs 71.4% and 54.5%) over 12 months; switching from one therapy to another was common in the Corrona RA registry.

CONCLUSIONS: Increased switching from one therapy to another and decreased time on a given therapy was observed in the Corrona RA registry in the 2012-2015 period. This observation is most likely due to the increased availability of additional treatment options and/or the change in clinical focus, particularly the emphasis on achievement of treat-to-target goals of remission or low disease activity along with more aggressive treatment.

Clinical Institute

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine