Treatment Patterns and Pharmacoutilization in Patients Affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis in Italian Settings

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May 26;18(11):5679. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18115679.


This study aimed to evaluate the treatment patterns and pharmacoutilization of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in real-world settings in Italy. This retrospective observational analysis was based on administrative databases of selected Italian entities. All adult patients with RA diagnosis confirmed by ≥1 discharge diagnosis of RA (ICD-9-CM code = 714.0) or an active exemption code (006.714.0) were enrolled in 2019. Two cohorts were created: one included patients prescribed baricitinib, the other those prescribed biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs). Overall, 47,711 RA patients were identified, most of them without DMARD prescription. As a first-line prescription, 43.2% of patients were prescribed conventional synthetic DMARDs (csDMARDs), 5.2% bDMARDs and 0.3% baricitinib. In 2019, 82.6% of csDMARD users continued with the same DMARD category, 15.9% had a bDMARD, while 1.5% had baricitinib as second-line therapy. Overall, 445 patients used baricitinib during 2019. During follow-up, baricitinib was prescribed as monotherapy to 31% of patients, as cotreatment with csDMARDs and corticosteroids to 27% of patients, with corticosteroids to 28% of patients and with csDMARDs to 14% of patients. In line with previous findings, a trend of bDMARD undertreatment was observed. The treatment patterns of baricitinib patients could help to better characterize patients eligible for new therapeutic options that will be available in the future.

Keywords: Janus kinase inhibitors; baricitinib; biologic drugs; rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antirheumatic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antirheumatic Agents