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Comparison of drug survival rates for tumor necrosis factor antagonists in rheumatoid arthritis

Authors Martínez-Santana V, González-Sarmiento E, Calleja-Hernández MA, Sánchez-Sánchez T

Received 30 April 2013

Accepted for publication 1 June 2013

Published 29 July 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 719—727


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Virginia Martínez-Santana,1 E González-Sarmiento,2 MA Calleja-Hernández,3 T Sánchez-Sánchez1

1Pharmacy Department, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain; 2Internal Medicine Department, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain; 3Pharmacy Department, Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves de Granada, Granada, Spain

Background: Persistence of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an overall marker of treatment success.
Objective: To assess the survival of anti-TNF treatment and to define the potential predictors of drug discontinuation in RA, in order to verify the adequacy of current practices.
Design: An observational, descriptive, longitudinal, retrospective study.
Setting: The Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain.
Patients: RA patients treated with anti-TNF therapy between January 2011 and January 2012.
Measurements: Demographic information and therapy assessments were gathered from medical and pharmaceutical records. Data is expressed as means (standard deviations) for quantitative variables and frequency distribution for qualitative variables. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis was used to assess persistence, and Cox multivariate regression models were used to assess potential predictors of treatment discontinuation.
Results: In total, 126 treatment series with infliximab (n = 53), etanercept (n = 51) or adalimumab (n = 22) were administered to 91 patients. Infliximab has mostly been used as a first-line treatment, but it was the drug with the shortest time until a change of treatment. Significant predictors of drug survival were: age; the anti-TNF agent; and the previous response to an anti-TNF drug.
Limitation: The small sample size.
Conclusion: The overall efficacy of anti-TNF drugs diminishes with time, with infliximab having the shortest time until a change of treatment. The management of biologic therapy in patients with RA should be reconsidered in order to achieve disease control with a reduction in costs.

Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, biologic agents, tumor necrosis factor, drug administration schedule

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