Real-World Data of Adherence and Drug Survival of Biologics in Treatment-Naïve and Treatment-experienced Adult Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Vered Rosenberg, Gabriel Chodick, Zhenyi Xue, Freddy Faccin, Howard Amital*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatics drugs (bDMARDs) and targeted synthetic DMARDs (tsDMARDs) are important treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). As more of these drugs become available, there is a greater need to assess their real-world adherence and drug survival. Methods: Treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients with RA who initiated treatment with bDMARDs and tofactinib during 2015–2018 in a large Israeli health maintenance organization were included. Adherence and time to treatment suspension were recorded. Odds for adherence were estimated using a multivariable logistic regression model. Risk for treatment suspension was estimated using a mixed-effect Cox proportional hazard model. Results: The analysis included 753 eligible patients (61.8% treatment-naïve) treated with 1287 treatment episodes (tofacitinib 24.2%, tocilizumab 17.5%, etanercept 16.0%, adalimumab 10.4%, abatacept 9.9%, rituximab 9.0%, golimumab 6.9%, certolizumab pegol 3.6%, infliximab 1.9%, and sarilumab 0.5%). Good adherence was measured for almost all drugs, yet over 50% of all treatment episodes were suspended. Older age was associated with reduced risk for treatment suspension while higher number of primary care visits and higher Charlson’s comorbidity score were associated with increased risk. Compared to etanercept, treatment with adalimumab, certolizumab, or rituximab was associated with increased risk for treatment suspension (HR 1.68 95% CI 1.27–2.22, HR 1.62 95% CI 1.00–2.60, and HR 2.72 95% CI 2.02–3.67, respectively). Conclusion: Treatment choice primarily depends on disease activity and prognosis. Real-world data, showing differences in drug survival of bDMARDs and tsDMARD, can also be used in the variety of considerations when choosing treatment. Future studies could separate patients with RA into subgroups, which would also account for potential drug survival differences and enable personalized therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4504-4522
Number of pages19
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


FundersFunder number
Tel Aviv University0108-18-BBL
Maccabbi Healthcare Services


    • Adherence
    • Biologics
    • Drug survival
    • Real-world
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Tofacitinib


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