Delayed Treatment Acceleration in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Who Have Inadequate Response to Initial Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors: Data from the Corrona Registry

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Department of Surgery; Department of Pediatrics

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Musculoskeletal Diseases | Pharmaceutical Preparations | Rheumatology


Background: The implementation of treat-to-target principles in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has not been fully investigated in patients with inadequate response to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor treatment.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of an inadequate response to initial TNF inhibitor treatment at 6 and 12 months among patients with RA in a real-world patient registry, as well as the delay in therapy adjustment and its impact on disease activity and patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures.

Methods: This analysis is based on data of patients with moderate or severe disease activity (Clinical Disease Activity Index [CDAI] score > 10) who were included in the Consortium of Rheumatology Researchers of North America (Corrona) RA registry, a prospective, observational database. The patients had never received treatment with a biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) and had initiated treatment with a TNF inhibitor (adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, golimumab, or infliximab) between October 2001 and December 2014. We evaluated treatment response (CDAI score < /=10), select PRO measures, and treatment changes at 6 months. Patients who had an inadequate response to TNF inhibitor therapy at 6 months and continued to use their initial TNF inhibitor were evaluated again at 12 months.

Results: This retrospective analysis included 2282 patients. At 6 months, 1732 (75.9%) of the patients continued to use their initial TNF inhibitor; of these, 803 (46.4%) patients had an inadequate response to treatment. Of the 803 patients who had an inadequate response at 6 months, 488 (60.8%) continued their initial treatment at 12 months. Of these 488 patients, 315 (64.5%) had an inadequate response at 12 months, and 173 (35.5%) had a response. Numerically greater improvements in all PRO measures were observed for patients who responded to therapy compared with patients with an inadequate response.

Conclusions: In this real-world analysis of data from the Corrona RA registry, a considerable proportion of patients with RA had an inadequate response to the initial TNF inhibitor therapy at 6 and 12 months. Many patients continued to have moderate or high disease activity, without accelerating treatment (eg, addition or increase in the dose of concurrent conventional synthetic DMARDs or a TNF inhibitor), contrary to treat-to-target principles, thus remaining at risk for accumulating joint damage and disability.


arthritis, Corrona registry, registries, response to therapy, rheumatoid arthritis, tumor necrosis factor inhibitor


Am Health Drug Benefits. 2018 May;11(3):148-158.

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American health and drug benefits

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