The detection of biomarkers in the preclinical phase of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and recent therapeutic advances suggest that it may be possible to identify and treat persons at high risk and to prevent the development of RA. Several trials are ongoing to test the efficacy of a therapeutic intervention in primary prevention. This paper reviews potential populations that might be considered for preventative medication. Further, we review the medications that are being explored to treat individuals considered at high risk of developing RA. Finally, in a group of asymptomatic individuals at high risk of developing RA, we assessed which factors mattered most when considering a preventive therapeutic intervention and what type of preventive treatment would be most acceptable to them. Understanding subjects' perceptions of risks and benefits and willingness to undergo preventive therapy will be important in designing and implementing screening and preventive strategies.
Keywords: Decision making; Patient preferences; Population at risk; Prevention; Preventive therapy; Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).