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Carol Eustice

Biologic Drugs Often Discontinued by Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients After Two Years

By August 17, 2013

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Based on data obtained from a U.S. registry kept by the Consortium of Rheumatology Researchers of North America, of more than 6,000 rheumatoid arthritis patients who were on a biologic drug for at least 6 months, half were off of the drug within two years. At the one-year mark, one third of the patients had stopped their biologic drug; at three years, 58% had discontinued their drug.

Lack of efficacy was cited as the reason by 36% of patients who discontinued their biologic drug, followed by physician preference (28%), safety (20%), patient preference (18%), and treatment access (9%). Patients were allowed to cite more than one reason. The results showed that patients discontinued TNF blockers around 27 months (that was the median) and 21 months for biologic drugs other than TNF blockers (i.e., Orencia, Actemra, Rituxan)

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