Comparative effectiveness of etanercept and adalimumab in patient reported outcomes and injection-related tolerability

Academic Article


  • Objective: To describe patient preferences in selecting specific biologics and compare clinical response using patient reported outcomes (PROs) among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) started on different anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapies. Methods: Participants were enrollees in Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Patients with RA who had at least two provider visits and started a new anti-TNF therapy from 10/2010-8/2011, were eligible for participation in this longitudinal study. Using a telephone survey, patient preferences in biologic selection and RAPID3, MDHAQ, and SF-12 scores were collected at baseline and at 6 months. Patient scores rating injection/infusion-site burning and stinging (ISBS) were collected at 6 months. Results: In all, 267 patients with RA responded to the baseline survey, of whom 57% preferred an injectable biologic, 22% preferred an infused biologic, and 21% had no preference. Motivation for injectable biologics was convenience (92%) and for infusion therapy was dislike or lack of self-efficacy for self-injection (16%). After 6 months of treatment with anti-TNF, 70% of the 177 patients who answered the ISBS question reported ISBS with the last dose; on a scale of 1 (none) to 10 (worst), 41% of these reported a score of 2-5; and 29% reported a score of 6-10. Adalimumab users experienced 3.2 times (95% confidence interval 1.2-8.6) the level of ISBS that etanercept users experienced. There were no significant differences in RAPID3, MDHAQ, or SF-12 scores between etanercept or adalimumab initiators. Conclusion: Convenience and fear of self-injection were important considerations to patients selecting a biologic drug. Although more convenient, adalimumab associated with more ISBS than did etanercept, and this rate was higher than reported in clinical trials. At 6 months, PROs did not differ between etanercept and adalimumab users.
  • Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Navarro-Mill├ín I; Herrinton LJ; Chen L; Harrold L; Liu L; Curtis JR
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 3