WASHINGTON, DC—At the 2016 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting, study authors reported on treatment patterns in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) newly initiating Remicade (infliximab; Janssen Biotech) and an infliximab biosimilar (CT-P13). 

Researchers analyzed medical billing records from 1,044 Turkish patients with RA who were new to starting treatment with Remicade or CT-P13 between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. The Turkish National Ministry of Health database contains billing information for ~80% of the Turkish population. 

The authors aimed to compare medication persistency, switching patterns, and discontinuation rates among the 1,044 study patients. The majority of patients were prescribed Remicade vs. CT-P13 (80% vs. 20%).  

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The analysis showed that treatment discontinuation was seen in 44% of patients treated with CT-P13 vs. 27% of patients treated with Remicade 6 months after. 

The switching patterns were noted to be different among patients who initiated Remicade compared to CT-P13. Patients who started with CT-P13 were most often switched to Remicade whereas patients who started with Remicade were most often switched to an alternate biologic agent.   

Dr. Yusuf Yazici, study author and rheumatologist at the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases added, “These interesting findings indicate a need for further investigation to better understand factors that may lead to higher treatment discontinuation in patients taking the biosimilar CT-P13 compared to patients taking Remicade.”

Remicade, an anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha treatment was initially approved in August 1998 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of various conditions in gastroenterology, rheumatology, and dermatology.