EXTON, Penn.--()--BioTrends Research Group, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that regardless of disease severity, the majority of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients on biologic therapy have achieved at least partial remission. According to ChartTrends: Rheumatoid Arthritis (US) 2012, Amgen/Pfizer’s Enbrel and Abbott’s Humira have the highest percent of RA patients achieving complete remission at 52 percent. Regardless of which biologic agent is taken for therapy, the vast majority of patients’ overall quality of life is good or excellent. Among the currently available biologics, patients taking Humira and Enbrel have an excellent quality of life, according to their rheumatologists.
“Biologics have become a trusted source of therapy for rheumatologists”
Among four agents in late-stage development for RA (Pfizer’s tofacitinib, Eli Lilly’s tabalumab, Rigel/AstraZeneca’s fostamatinib, Sanofi/Regeneron’s sarilumab), surveyed physicians report that tofacitinib would be the drug of choice for 60 percent of those patients with no or low satisfaction due to poor clinical response. Not surprisingly, all of these products would be reserved until after surveyed rheumatologists have tried two currently marketed biologics and also until they become more familiar with them. Physicians see all of these new products as options for their severe RA patients.
“Biologics have become a trusted source of therapy for rheumatologists,” said BioTrends Immunology Therapeutic Class Director Paul Zimmerman. “However, tofacitinib has the potential to change how rheumatologists are managing RA. Regardless of whether a patient is on an anti-TNF or alternate mechanism of action biologic, or if they’re taking an infused or subcutaneous biologic, surveyed physicians would consider switching roughly one-third of these patients to tofacitinib.”
ChartTrends: Rheumatoid Arthritis (US) 2012 is an annual, quantitative publication based on patient and laboratory data collected from 1,012 RA patient charts provided by 269 rheumatologists in July 2012 in the United States. Through an in-depth review of specific patient charts, details such as product dosing and titration, switching, concomitant medications and a host of laboratory and patient demographic variables help define patient types and identify therapy triggers. Rheumatologists were required to be Board-certified in rheumatology, have a minimum of 100 RA patients under their personal management and a minimum of 50 RA patients taking a biologic, have been in practice for a minimum of two years and a maximum of 30 years, and spend more than 75 percent of their time in clinical practice. Requirements for the patient charts were that the rheumatologist must have personally seen the patient, patients had to be at least 18 years of age and less than 90 years of age, currently on one of the listed biologic agents, and under the rheumatologist’s personal management for at least six months. All collection methods were designed in compliance with HIPAA.
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