Many PsA Patients Who Begin DMARD Therapy Switch Treatments

Specialty Pharmacy Times, November/December 2014, Volume 5, Issue 6

A high percentage of PsA patients newly initiated on a nonbiologic or biologic oral disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) switch treatments after a short period of time, according to a recent study.

The researchers sought to clarify treatment changes such as discontinuation, switching, and therapy add-on following the start of DMARD therapy by evaluating 1698 and 3263 patients who were initiated on nonbiologic DMARDs and biologic DMARDs, respectively.

In the nonbiologic DMARD group, 69% of patients had ≥1 therapy change over a year, with a median time of 85 days to first therapy change. Among the patients who changed therapies, 83% discontinued therapy; 29% switched therapies, with 64% of those patients changing to a biologic DMARD; and 25% had a therapy add-on, with 76% of those patients adding a biologic DMARD.

In the biologic DMARD group, 46% had ≥1 therapy change with a median time of 110 days to first therapy change. Among the patients who changed therapies, 100% discontinued; 25% switched therapies, with 92% of those patients changing to another biologic DMARD; and 7% of patients added a nonbiologic DMARD.

“This study suggests that PsA patients newly initiated on a nonbiologic/biologic DMARD do not remain on the index treatment for a long period of time,” the authors concluded. “A better understanding of factors related to these early treatment changes in PsA patients is needed.” SPT