The majority of patients do not store their biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs within the recommended temperature range

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016 Apr;55(4):704-9. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kev394. Epub 2015 Dec 16.


Objective: To monitor whether biologic DMARD (bDMARD) home storage temperatures comply with the manufacturers' Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) recommendations.

Methods: This observational study included consenting adult patients from eight Dutch pharmacies who received their bDMARDs with a validated temperature logger. Patients were instructed to store their packages according to standard label instructions and to return the temperature logger(s) after use. Primary outcome was defined as the proportion of patients that stored their bDMARDs within the SmPC recommended temperature range. In addition, the proportion of patients storing bDMARDs below 0°C or above 25 °C for longer than two consecutive hours was estimated.

Results: A total of 255 (87.0%) patients (mean age 53.2 (s.d.; 13.1) years, 51.4% female) returned their temperature logger(s) to the pharmacy. Of these, 17 patients (6.7%) stored their bDMARD within the recommended temperature range. The proportion of the patients that stored their bDMARD for more than 2 h consecutive time below 0°C or above 25°C was respectively 24.3% (median duration: 3.7 h (IQR 2.2 h; range 2.0-1,097.1 h) and 2.0% (median duration: 11.8 h (IQR 44.3 h; range 2.0-381.9 h).

Conclusion: The majority of patients do not store their bDMARDs within the SmPC-recommended temperature range.

Keywords: anti-TNF; biologic DMARDs; epidemiology; rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents / standards*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology
  • Biological Products / standards*
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use
  • Drug Storage / methods
  • Drug Storage / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Temperature*
  • Time Factors


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Biological Products