In 2007, government subsidy in the form of a funding called the Samaritan Fund learn more was officially available for patients in need for biological therapies but cannot afford the high cost of therapies. Patients have to meet the clinical criteria for refractory disease, together with an assessment of family income before they are eligible for consideration by the Samaritan Fund. As a result, an increasing number of patients with various rheumatic diseases have been treated with the biological agents in the past few years. In order to have surveillance
for the long-term efficacy and adverse effects of the biological agents, a registry was established in the autumn of 2005 by the Hong Kong Society of Rheumatology (HKSR). Standard data on the use and adverse events related to the use of the biological agents were regularly collected. We
hereby report the retention rates of the anti-TNFα biological agents for the treatment of various rheumatic diseases from December 2005 to July 2013, and analyze factors that are associated with withdrawal of these Bleomycin medications. The Hong Kong Biologics Registry was established in December 2005 by the HKSR with an attempt to capture efficacy and safety data regarding the use of biological agents for the treatment of rheumatic diseases. The inclusion criteria were: (i) any patients with any rheumatic diseases that required treatment
4-Aminobutyrate aminotransferase with the biological agents; and (ii) age ≥ 18 years. Basic demographic information, disease characteristics and the date of commencement of various biological agents were captured by means of a checklist completion by the attending rheumatologists. As the HKSR recommends a baseline assessment of the disease activity of the underlying rheumatic diseases before start of the biological agents and then every 6 months at least during their use, efficacy data are also captured by our registry. The date of discontinuation of the biological agents and reason for drug withdrawal is also recorded. Submission of data to our registry is on a voluntary basis. Missing information unrelated to physicians’ poor compliance to protocol is retrieved from the hospital patient management system by clerical staff trained for this purpose. Data collected are transcribed into an Access file for future retrieval and statistical analyses.