Continuity of Care Within a Single Patient Support Program for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Prescribed Second or Later Line Advanced Therapy.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Advances in therapy


washington; swedish


INTRODUCTION: Guidelines suggest patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) inadequately controlled by tumor-necrosis-factor-inhibitors (TNFis) may benefit from switching to Janus-kinase-inhibitors (JAKis); however, care coordination and access can be complicated. Disruptions in transitioning to JAKi treatment could lead to disease flares requiring hospitalization; however, transitioning between products within the same patient support program (PSP) services aimed at ensuring continuity of care may minimize disruptions.

METHODS: A retrospective, longitudinal cohort study of adult patients with RA newly prescribed JAKi following TNFi treatment in the Symphony Health claims database. Patients with baseline TNFi use and ≥ 6 months of data before (baseline) and after (follow-up) the initial JAKi claim (approved or denied) were included. Cohorts were defined by transitions between products within the same PSP [adalimumab (ADA) and upadacitinib (UPA)] or not. Disruptions were defined as gap in care ≥ 15 days due to failure/delay in receiving coverage approval or picking up an approved prescription. Disruptions followed by JAKi dispense were considered temporary and those without permanent. Odds ratios (ORs) of disruption and hospitalization were estimated from logistic regressions controlling for patient characteristics and treatment history.

RESULTS: A total of 2371 patients were included: 317 transitioning from ADA-UPA, 321 TNFi-UPA, 860 ADA-another JAKi, and 873 another TNFi-another JAKi. Temporary and permanent disruptions increased odds of hospitalization by 47% and 123% (both p < 0.05). Temporary disruption rates were lowest for ADA-UPA patients (19%) compared to other TNFi-UPA (25%; OR = 1.46), ADA-other JAKi (29%; OR = 1.59), and other TNFi-other JAKi (31%; OR = 1.74), all p < 0.05. For transitions to UPA, temporary disruptions were lower for patients using the PSP (17%) versus not (24%; OR = 1.45, p < 0.05). No differences were found for permanent disruptions.

CONCLUSION: Disruptions for patients with RA transitioning from TNFi to JAKi treatment are associated with increased hospitalization rates. Transitioning between drugs within the same PSP could lower the risk of disruption.

Clinical Institute

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine