The management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) involves the strategic use of biologics, which has revolutionized patient outcomes. However, treatment discontinuations due to various reasons such as adverse effects and inefficacy are a significant concern. The ANSWER cohort study previously detailed the drug tolerability and reasons for discontinuation across seven biologics in 4466 treatment courses of RA. Following its publication, corrections have been issued, addressing inaccuracies during the production process. This article analyzes these corrections, reaffirms understandings of RA management, and emphasizes the importance of accurate reporting in evidence-based medicine.


1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Biologics Discontinuation
3. ANSWER Cohort
4. RA Treatment Tolerability
5. RA Biologic Efficacy

The field of rheumatology has come a long way with the introduction of biologic therapies, offering a new hope to patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA)—a chronic and debilitating autoimmune condition. The ANSWER cohort study, led by a team of esteemed researchers from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Osaka University and other notable institutions in Japan, was an initiative aimed at unraveling the real-world experiences of RA patients undergoing biologic treatments. However, following the study’s publication, a correction notice has been issued, alerting the medical community to a lapse that occurred in the initial release of the research findings.

The Correction Notice

Published in “Arthritis Research & Therapy,” the correction notice (DOI: 10.1186/s13075-019-1897-8) brought to light the fact that two corrections had not been implemented during the study’s production process. The original paper, “Drug tolerability and reasons for discontinuation of seven biologics in 4466 treatment courses of rheumatoid arthritis—the ANSWER cohort study,” provided comprehensive data crucial for clinicians in prescribing and managing biologics. These corrections are significant, not only for the integrity of the research but also for ensuring that clinicians have accurate information for decision-making.

The Significance of the Corrections

Even minor errors can lead to significant repercussions in medical research, as data accuracy is imperative for effective treatment strategies. The corrections pointed out in the notice reaffirm the overall conclusion of the ANSWER cohort study but remind practitioners of the importance of vigilance in interpreting study results.

The Implications for Rheumatoid Arthritis Management

Biologics have been a game-changer in RA treatment, but they come with challenges regarding their tolerability, efficacy, and the patients’ ability to continue the medication long-term. Understanding the reasons behind treatment discontinuation is key to improving RA patient care and treatment outcomes. Given that the ANSWER cohort study provided a vast array of data on this subject, any correction in its findings plays a crucial role in shaping RA treatment protocols.

Drug Tolerability and Discontinuation

The ANSWER cohort study initially detailed the reasons for drug discontinuation across seven biologics in thousands of RA treatment courses. The corrections in question do not diminish the study’s value—biologics still present certain risks, and adverse effects remain a top reason for patients discontinuing treatment. By accurately accounting for these reasons, clinicians can better tailor therapies to individual patients, possibly enhancing the efficacy and tolerability of these potent medications.

The SEO Perspective

With SEO keywords like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Biologics Discontinuation, ANSWER Cohort, RA Treatment Tolerability, and RA Biologic Efficacy, this corrected publication re-highlights the realities of biologics in RA treatment. Such keywords help to make this vital information more accessible to healthcare professionals searching for upgraded data on RA management, ensuring that findings from influential cohorts like ANSWER can direct future research and clinical practice.


1. Ebina, K., et al. (2019) Correction to: Drug tolerability and reasons for discontinuation of seven biologics in 4466 treatment courses of rheumatoid arthritis—the ANSWER cohort study. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 21:114. doi: 10.1186/s13075-019-1897-8.

2. Ebina, K., et al. (2019) Drug tolerability and reasons for discontinuation of seven biologics in 4466 treatment courses of rheumatoid arthritis—the ANSWER cohort study. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 21:91. doi: 10.1186/s13075-019-1880-4.

3. Atzeni, F., et al. (2013). Efficacy and safety of biologics in rheumatoid arthritis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical Rheumatology, 32(5), 689-702.

4. Smolen, J. S., et al. (2016). Rheumatoid arthritis. The Lancet, 388(10055), 2023-2038.

5. Singh, J. A., et al. (2015). 2015 American College of Rheumatology Guideline for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatology, 68(1), 1-26.

The correction to the ANSWER cohort study not only serves a specific purpose but also invokes the larger discussion around the management of rheumatoid arthritis with biologics. The study concretizes what clinicians have long observed: biologics, while effective, are not without their own set of complexities that can challenge their continued use. This reality informs ongoing research into creating more tolerable, effective, and sustainable treatment options for RA.

Patient adherence to prescribed treatment regimens is a multifaceted issue. Factors contributing to discontinuation include but are not limited to adverse events, cost concerns, and lack of accessibility, all of which warrant careful consideration in patient counseling and treatment planning. The corrected data from the ANSWER cohort study should now be interpreted with renewed accuracy, allowing for better patient care continuity and a reduction in the risks associated with the improper use of biologics.

Given the nature of RA—a condition marked by periods of flare and remission—treatment discontinuation can lead to a resurgence of disease activity, thereby impacting a patient’s quality of life and long-term health outcomes. Consistency in treatment, which hinges upon drug tolerability, is the cornerstone of effective RA management strategies.

Education and continued research are vital in addressing the challenges posed by biologics in RA. With the corrected information from the ANSWER cohort study, clinicians can now reassess and perhaps even recalibrate their approach to using these drugs, aiming for the optimization of RA patient outcomes. Furthermore, such corrections demonstrate the commitment within the scientific community to uphold data integrity—crucial for maintaining trust and accuracy in medicinal practice.

In light of this publication correction, it is also essential to note the role of patient-reported outcomes in understanding the real-world effectiveness and tolerability of treatments. Future studies should prioritize capturing this subjective data as it provides invaluable insights into patient experiences, possibly identifying new trends in drug discontinuations and tolerability profiles.

Finally, this event serves as a reminder of the ongoing nature of scientific inquiry and the evolutionary trajectory of medicine. Amidst the complexities, it reveals the steadfast pursuit of evidence-based knowledge that guides the global RA community—both patients and practitioners—towards improved health outcomes and quality of life.

In conclusion, the correction to the results of the ANSWER cohort study does not detract from its original contribution but rather enhances the discussion on RA management, emphasizing the importance of accurate data collection and reporting. As we continue to navigate the intricacies of biologic therapy in RA, it is undeniable that studies like ANSWER are instrumental in bolstering our understanding and refining our clinical practices.