Purpose To compare the effectiveness of anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) agents in biologically naive and ‘switched’ rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.
Methods RA patients enrolled in the CORRONA registry newly prescribed adalimumab (n=874), etanercept (n=640), or infliximab (n=728) were stratified based on previous anti-TNF use. Clinical effectiveness at 6, 12 and 24 months was examined using the modified American College of Rheumatology response criteria (mACR20/50/70) and achievement of remission (28-joint disease activity score (DAS28) and clinical disease activity index (CDAI)) in unadjusted and adjusted analyses. The persistence of anti-TNF treatment was examined using Cox proportional hazard models.
Results Among 2242 patients (1475 biologically naive, 767 switchers), mACR20, 50 and 70 responses were similar (p>0.05) for adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab at all time points, as were rates of CDAI and DAS28 remission (p>0.05). Response and remission outcomes were consistently inferior for switched versus biologically naive patients. The adjusted OR for achieving an mACR20 response was 0.54 (95% CI 0.38 to 0.76) in first-time switchers and 0.42 (95% CI 0.23 to 0.78) in second-time switchers versus biologically naive patients at 6 months. The adjusted OR for achieving DAS28 remission were 0.29 (95% CI 0.15 to 0.58) for first-time switchers and 0.26 (95% CI 0.08 to 0.84) for second-time switchers. Persistence was higher in biologically naive patients, for whom persistence was highest with infliximab.
Conclusions No differences in rates of drug response or remission were observed among the three anti-TNF. Infliximab was associated with greater persistence in biologically naive patients. Response, remission and persistence outcomes were diminished for patients who switched anti-TNF.
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