The following are some of the current research areas and projects being completed by the division of rheumatology:
The 2021 ACR RA treatment guideline, based on widely acknowledged low to moderate quality evidence, recommends switching to a non-tumor necrosis factor (TNFi) biologic (choose among existing medications, currently, rituximab, abatacept, tocilizumab, or sarilumab) or a targeted synthetic DMARD arm (tsDMARD; choose among existing medications, currently, tofacitinib, baricitinib, upadacitinib) in patients with active RA despite the use of a TNFi-biologic. In practice, most patients receive another TNFi-biologic, i.e., a second TNFi-biologic first. This is not based on solid evidence, but on arbitrary algorithms often proposed by health insurance plans, and/or physician experience and habit (TNFis launched 22 yrs ago vs. the first tsDMARD 8 years ago vs. first non-TNF-biologic launched 17 years ago). This study will fill a critical knowledge gap by generating CER data for important PROs between these treatment options, switching to a non-TNFi biologic or a tsDMARD in patients with active RA despite the use of a TNFi-biologic.