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Survey: RA Patients Satisfied With Current Drug Treatments

Conventional DMARDs rate highest on ease of use and cost (May 29)

BioTrends Research Group, a research and advisory firm located in Exton, Pennsylvania, finds that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are moderately to highly satisfied with the drugs — both biologic and non-biologic — that they are currently taking for their condition. Most of the surveyed patients indicated that they were unlikely to request a change in therapy in the next year.

Patients rated conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) highest on ease of use and cost because of their oral formulations and generic availability. However, despite the fact that Xeljanz (tofacitinib; Pfizer) is a new oral agent, RA patients expressed a low likelihood that they would ask their doctors to prescribe the drug.

The finding of high patient satisfaction with drug therapies is contrary to rheumatologists’ views of the currently available RA drug treatments where, in a 2012 report, close to 50% of surveyed rheumatologists rated RA as a disease with a high unmet need for new drug treatments.

“Approximately half of the surveyed rheumatoid arthritis patients taking conventional DMARDs and/or biologics do not experience any side effects,” said analyst Jen Dolga. “Therefore, if their current drug is working and they are not experiencing side effects, the patients are not going to ask their doctors to change their medication.”

Source: BioTrends Research; May 29, 2013.

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