Switching profiles in a population-based cohort of rheumatoid arthritis receiving biologic therapy: results from the KOBIO registry

Dong Jin Park, Sung Jae Choi, Kichul Shin, Hyoun Ah Kim, Yong Beom Park, Seong Wook Kang, Seung Ki Kwok, Seong Kyu Kim, Eon Jeong Nam, Yoon Kyoung Sung, Jaejoon Lee, Chang Hoon Lee, Chan Hong Jeon, Shin Seok Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite improved quality of care for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, many still experience treatment failure with a biologic agent and eventually switch to another biologic agent. We investigated patterns of biologic treatment and reasons for switching biologics in patients with RA. Patients with RA who had started on a biologic agent or had switched to another biologic agent were identified from the prospective observational Korean nationwide Biologics (KOBIO) registry. The KOBIO registry contained 1184 patients with RA at the time of initiation or switching of biologic agents. Patients were categorized according to the chronological order of the introduction of biologic agents, and reasons for switching biologics were also evaluated. Of the 1184 patients with RA, 801 started with their first biologic agent, 228 were first-time switchers, and 89 were second-time or more switchers. Second-time or more switchers had lower rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP positivity, and higher disease activity scores at the time of enrollment than the other groups. Among these patients, tocilizumab was the most commonly prescribed biologic agent, followed by adalimumab and etanercept. The most common reason for switching biologics was inefficacy, followed by adverse events, including infusion reactions, infections, and skin eruptions. Furthermore, the proportion of inefficacy, as a reason for switching, was significantly higher with respect to switching between biologics with different mechanisms of action than between biologics with similar mechanisms. In this registry, we showed diverse prescribing patterns and differing baseline profiles based on the chronological order of biologic agents.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1013-1022
    Number of pages10
    JournalClinical Rheumatology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This study was supported by a grant (CRI 16039–22) Chonnam National University Hospital Biomedical Research Institute. The KCR commissioned the KOBIO as a Korea nationwide project to investigate the safety of biologic agents in routine medical practice. KCR receives restricted grant from Korean pharmaceutical companies, presently Abbvie, BMS, Celltrion, Janssen, JW Pharmaceutical, and Pfizer. The investigators and their team have full academic freedom and are able to work independently of pharmaceutical industry influence. All decisions concerning analyses, interpretation, and publication are made autonomously of any industrial contribution.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2017, International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR).


    • Biologic agents
    • Registry
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Switching

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Rheumatology


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