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New survey promotes patient involvement in defining achievable treatment goals in Rheumatoid Arthritis

New survey promotes patient involvement in defining achievable treatment goals in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Research funded by Galapagos and presented at EULAR virtual congress, suggests a third of patients are unaware of treatment goals set by their doctors

London, United Kingdom; 02 June 2021; 14:30 BST; Galapagos today presented initial results from a survey offering insights into patient and physician attitudes to treat-to-target (T2T) goal setting in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) across Europe. The T2T approach for RA includes defining an appropriate treatment target, assessed at pre-defined intervals, with a commitment to changing therapeutic approach if the target is not meti.

Results from a large survey among nearly 300 physicians and their consulting patients with RA, included around 3,000 patient responses that were presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) virtual congress 2021, taking place 2 – 5 June.

Around one-third of patients completed a self-reported questionnaire collecting data on their perception of treatment goals as stated by their treating physician. While rheumatologists in the survey reported that 66% of patients were on a treatment target plan, nearly one-third (29%) of patients perceived no treatment target goal had been set by their physicians or themselves when discussing treatment optionsii.

The findings indicated that physician belief in treatment target strategies was strong, with 86% of physicians stating that they followed these principles in at least some of their RA patients, and would utilise a treatment target approach in RA patients with: moderate-high disease activity (61%); the most uncontrolled patients (37%);those who do not respond well to initial therapy (34%).

In this sample of real-world RA patients, 66% were reported to be on a treatment target plan at the time of data collection. 29% of those patients reported to be on a treatment target plan reported they were involved in setting their treatment target goals, while 34% stated their goals were set by their physicians only, and 29% perceived no goal had been set.

From a patient perspective, shared common treatment target goals were remission, controlling symptoms and improvement to quality of life. The most common treatment target objectives for physicians were remission, improvement of quality of life and reduction of pain.

The most stated reasons for not implementing treatment target goals were physician preference not to adjust current treatment (34%), patient preference not to adjust current treatment (23%), and there are no achievable goals for this patient (16%).

In those patients with moderate to high disease activity, 57% were on a treatment target plan, with 46% of physicians perceiving these treatment goals were achieved.

Given these findings, it may be desirable to promote more patient involvement in defining treatment goals amongst those with moderate to high disease activity. Further research is needed to identify and understand goals important to RA patients.

Professor Peter Taylor, Norman Collisson Chair of Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford said: “Defining a personalised treatment target plan should be integral to the care of people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis in order to control inflammation and to address aspects of life impacted by the condition with a view to achieving optimal wellbeing. Patients should always be part of this process and the findings from this survey show that there is still room for improvement in ensuring everyone understands and agrees with the goals that are set.”

“It is important to work with both patients and healthcare professionals to define achievable targets, beyond remission, for all states of disease activity”, said Dr Michael Smyth, Medical Director, Galapagos UK. “At Galapagos, we are committed to focusing on the health outcomes that truly matter to people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and the presentation of these findings at EULAR are another example of this in action.”

About the methodology

The Adelphi RA Disease Specific Programme™ was a large, quantitative, point-in-time survey conducted amongst rheumatologists (n=296) and their consulting patients with RA (n=3042) in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK) between Q4 2019–Q3 2020.

Physicians were recruited via publicly available lists, completing an online survey and medical record extraction for their next 10–12 consecutive patients. The same patients were invited to voluntarily complete a self-report questionnaire (n=1098, 36% response), collecting data on attitudes towards T2T and treatment goals.

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA is a chronic, progressive, systemic, inflammatory disease that can lead to significant and irreversible joint destruction, pain and functional impairment.iii Almost 3 million people in Europe are living with RA,iv and more than 400,000 people are living with RA in the UK today (around 380,000 in England).v It is recognised as a condition that can cause debilitating physical pain, affect mental health, and require chronic care. Despite treatment, many patients continue to experience reduced quality of life due to functional impairment, fatigue, pain, and,vii,viii,ix

About Galapagos

Galapagos NV discovers, develops and commercializes small molecule medicines with novel modes of action, several of which show promising patient results and are currently in late-stage development in multiple diseases. Our pipeline comprises discovery through Phase 3 programs in inflammation, fibrosis and other indications. Our ambition is to become a leading global biotech company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines.

Follow Galapagos UK on Twitter @glpg_uk and LinkedIn, or visit our local website

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Last Updated: 03-Jun-2021