Switching Arthritis Patients to Adalimumab Is Safe, Effective

Conversion from infliximab may also reduce cost

FRIDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Switching patients with rheumatoid arthritis from infliximab to adalimumab is safe and effective and may reduce costs, researchers report in the July issue of Rheumatology.

Ceara A.E. Walsh, Ph.D., from St. Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, and colleagues examined the effect and cost of switching 19 patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had a clinical response with infliximab to adalimumab.

After 16 weeks, the researchers found that there was no change in function or quality of life after the switch, with similar safety and tolerability. There were significant reductions in C-reactive protein and the composite 28-joint count Disease Activity Score, although there were no significant changes in component scores. The switch was predicted to reduce future costs due to lower patient- and staff-related costs.

"A switch from infliximab to adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have responded to infliximab is a feasible, well-tolerated treatment option, with the potential for direct and indirect economic advantages," Walsh and colleagues conclude.

One of the investigators of this study, F. Pang, is a former employee of Abbott Laboratories. This study was an investigator-originated trial sponsored by Abbott Laboratories.

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