Patient Prefer Adherence 2015 20;9:121-31. Epub 2015 Jan 20.
Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, Horsham, PA, USA.
Objective: To examine reasons why rheumatoid arthritis patients discontinued subcutaneous (SQ) anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) treatment in the past 12 months, so as to help inform successful, uninterrupted therapy.
Methods: Data were collected in March and April 2011 using self-reported, internet-based questionnaires. Study inclusion criteria comprised: rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis; discontinuation of SQ anti-TNF medication (adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, or golimumab) within the past 12 months; aged ≥18 years; United States residency; and consent to participate. Patients reported primary and other reasons for discontinuation of their most recently discontinued anti-TNF.
Results: Questionnaires from 250 patients were analyzed; 72.8% were female, 80.8% were white, and median age was 51 years. Patients had discontinued etanercept (n=109), adalimumab (n=98), certolizumab (n=24), or golimumab (n=19) within the past 12 months. When prompted about their primary reason for discontinuation, lack of effectiveness (40.8%) was cited most often, followed by injection experience (18.4%). Combining prompted primary and other reasons for discontinuation, 60.8% of patients reported lack of effectiveness, while 40.8% reported injection experience, which included: pain/burning/discomfort after injection (14.4%); pain/burning/discomfort during injection (13.2%); injection reactions such as redness/swelling after injection (12.4%); dislike of self-injection (11.6%); dislike of frequency of injection (10.4%); and fear of injection/needles (6.8%).
Conclusion: From the patient perspective, there are unmet needs with regard to the effectiveness and injection experience associated with SQ anti-TNF medications, which may lead to discontinuation. Treatment options with a better injection experience may address these needs. These results demonstrate the importance of including the patient perspective when making prescribing decisions or payer access and coverage decisions.