Article Text

This article has a correction. Please see:

Download PDFPDF
Updated consensus statement on biological agents for the treatment of rheumatic diseases, 2007
  1. D E Furst1,
  2. F C Breedveld2,
  3. J R Kalden3,
  4. J S Smolen4,
  5. G R Burmester5,
  6. J Sieper6,
  7. P Emery7,
  8. E C Keystone8,
  9. M H Schiff9,
  10. P Mease10,
  11. P L C M van Riel11,
  12. R Fleischmann12,
  13. M H Weisman13,
  14. M E Weinblatt14
  1. 1
    David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA
  2. 2
    Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  3. 3
    Department of Internal Medicine III, Institut for Clinical Immunology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
  4. 4
    Institute of Rheumatology, Clinic for Internal Medicine III, Vienna General Hospital, Vienna, Austria
  5. 5
    Department of Rheumatology, and Clinical Immunology, Charité Hospital, Berlin, Germany
  6. 6
    University Clinic Benjamin Franklin, Germany
  7. 7
    Leeds University, Department of Rheumatology, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
  8. 8
    Department of Rheumatology, Mount Sinai Hospitial, Toronto, Canada
  9. 9
    Denver Arthritis Clinic, Denver, Colorado, USA
  10. 10
    Seattle Rhumatology Associates, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA
  11. 11
    University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  12. 12
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas USA
  13. 13
    Cedar Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, California, USA
  14. 14
    Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. D E Furst, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA – RM 32-59, 1000 Veteran Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA; defurst{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

As in previous years, the consensus group to consider the use of biological agents was constituted by rheumatologists from the universities of Erlangen, Leiden and Vienna in Europe in cooperation with other universities in the USA, Canada and Europe. Pharmaceutical industry support was obtained from a number of companies, but these companies had no part in the decisions regarding the specific programme or about the academic participants at this conference. These sponsors participated in the initial small breakout groups with emphasis on supplying factual information. The companies, on the other hand, had no part in the larger, final consensus group or in the final consensus statement.

The perspective of this consensus is from the treating physician’s point of view.

The 160 rheumatologists and bioscientists who attended the consensus conference were chosen from a worldwide group of physicians and other scientists from 21 countries, with expertise in the use of biological agents for the treatment of rheumatic diseases. The number of attendees and participants was limited so that not everyone who might have been interested could be invited.

Based on the new data regarding TNF blocking agents, B cell-specific agents & IL1rα, an update of the previous consensus statement is appropriate.1 The consensus statement is annotated to document the credibility of the data supporting it as much as possible. This annotation is that of Shekelle et al. and is described in an appendix.2 We have modified the Shekelle annotation by designating all abstracts as “Category D evidence”, whether they describe well-controlled trials or not, based on a need to be able to describe details of the studies and results. As the number of possible references has become so large, reviews are sometimes used and, if they contain Category A references, will be referred to as Category A evidence. All …

View Full Text


  • Abbreviations:
    American College of Rheumatology
    antinuclear antibody, AS, ankylosing spondylitis
    atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
    Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index
    Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index
    Clinical Disease Activity Index
    congestive heart failure
    chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    Disease Activity Score
    disease-modifying antirheumatic drug
    Food and Drug Administration
    Health Assessment Questionnaire disability index
    purified protein derivative
    psoriatic arthritis
    rheumatoid arthritis
    Simple Disease Activity Index
    visual analogue scale

Linked Articles

  • Correction
    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and European League Against Rheumatism