Persistence with anti-tumor necrosis factor therapies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: observations from the RADIUS registry

Joseph A Markenson, Allan Gibofsky, William R Palmer, Edward C Keystone, Michael H Schiff, Jingyuan Feng, Scott W Baumgartner
Journal of Rheumatology 2011, 38 (7): 1273-81

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate persistence with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy and predictors of discontinuation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

METHODS: This retrospective analysis used data from RADIUS 1, a 5-year observational registry of patients with RA, to determine time to first- and second-course discontinuation of etanercept, infliximab, and adalimumab. First-course therapy was defined as first exposure to anti-TNF therapy, and second-course therapy was defined as exposure to anti-TNF therapy after the first discontinuation. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to assess persistence, log-rank tests were used to compare therapies, and Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess potential predictors of treatment discontinuation.

RESULTS: This analysis included 2418 patients. Mean persistence rates were similar among treatments [first-course: etanercept, 51%; infliximab, 48%; adalimumab, 48% (followup was 54 weeks for etanercept and infliximab and 42 weeks for adalimumab); second-course: 56%, 50%, 46%, respectively (followup was 36 weeks for etanercept and infliximab and 30 weeks for adalimumab)]. Discontinuations of first-course therapy due to ineffectiveness were similar among treatments (etanercept, 19%; infliximab, 19%; adalimumab, 20%) and discontinuations due to adverse events were significantly (p = 0.0006) lower for etanercept than for infliximab (etanercept, 14%; infliximab, 22%; adalimumab, 17%). Predictors from univariable analysis of first- or second-course therapy discontinuation included increased comorbidities (etanercept), female sex (infliximab), Clinical Disease Activity Index > 22 (infliximab), and a Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire score > 0.5 (adalimumab).

CONCLUSION: In this population, first- and second-course persistence was similar among anti-TNF therapies. First-course discontinuation due to adverse events was lower with etanercept compared with infliximab.

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