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Real-World Comparative Effectiveness of Tofacitinib and Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors as Monotherapy and Combination Therapy for Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis


Reed GW1,2, Gerber RA3, Shan Y4, Takiya L5, Dandreo KJ4, Gruben D3, Kremer J6, Wallenstein G3. Rheumatol Ther. 2019 Nov 9. doi: 10.1007/s40744-019-00177-4. [Epub ahead of print]

Author Information

1 Corrona Research Foundation, Albany, NY, USA. greed@corrona.org.

2 University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA. greed@corrona.org.

3 Pfizer Inc, Groton, CT, USA.

4 Corrona, LLC, Waltham, MA, USA.

5 Pfizer Inc, Collegeville, PA, USA.

6 Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA.



No published studies exist comparing the effectiveness of tofacitinib with other advanced therapies for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in real-world clinical practice. Here, we report differences in effectiveness of tofacitinib compared with standard of care, tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi), with or without concomitant methotrexate (MTX), using US Corrona registry data.


This observational cohort study included RA patients receiving tofacitinib (from 6 November 2012; N = 558) or TNFi (from 1 November 2001; N = 8014) with or without MTX until 31 July 2016. Efficacy outcomes at 6 months included modified American College of Rheumatology 20% responses, Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) and Pain. Outcomes were compared between patients receiving TNFi and tofacitinib with or without MTX and by line of therapy. Outcomes within therapy lines were compared using propensity-score matching; between-group differences were estimated using mixed-effects regression models.


Patients receiving tofacitinib had longer RA duration and a greater proportion had previously received biologics than those receiving TNFi; other baseline characteristics were comparable. In patients receiving second- and third-line TNFi therapy, CDAI low disease activity/remission response rates were significantly better with concomitant MTX. Too few patients received tofacitinib as second line for meaningful assessment. No significant differences were observed in outcomes between tofacitinib as monotherapy and tofacitinib with concomitant MTX.


In clinical practice, TNFi efficacy is improved with concomitant MTX in the second and third line. In the third/fourth line, patients are likely to achieve similar efficacy with tofacitinib monotherapy, or TNFi or tofacitinib in combination with MTX.


Pfizer Inc.