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Swiss Med Wkly. 2013 Dec 6;143:w13849. doi: 10.4414/smw.2013.13849.

RAISE - rheumatoid arthritis independent Swiss treatment expectations and outcome: results for the abatacept subpopulation.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, HFR - Hôpital Cantonal Fribourg, Switzerland; Dudlerj@h-fr.ch.



Clinical trials do not necessarily reflect the results obtained in daily clinical practice. By conducting a non-interventional, observational study with biologics in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in Switzerland, we aimed to generate real-world data on reasons for treatment initiation and discontinuation, physicians' expectations for treatment, co-medication, and various treatment outcome parameters.


Sixty-nine patients with a confirmed diagnosis of RA were included in this non-interventional observational study. Participating physicians used standardised questionnaires to collect data on the use of biologics at three visits over one year. Due to the small sample size of patients receiving biologics other than abatacept, only patients treated with abatacept were considered for analysis.


The population receiving intravenously administered abatacept consisted of 56 patients. Of these, 25% received abatacept as a first-line biologic therapy. The retention rate over one year was high (75%) and similar to what has been previously observed in randomised clinical trials. Overall, abatacept was found to be effective in patients irrespective of their baseline disease activity or levels in C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Moreover, the use of glucocorticoids was found to be reduced under therapy. There was a tendency for better treatment outcomes and physicians' satisfaction with abatacept the earlier the drug was used in the sequence of biologic therapies.


The present study suggests that abatacept is an effective and well tolerated treatment in RA patients in routine clinical practice, irrespective of disease parameter at baseline.

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