Uptake and Clinical Utility of Multibiomarker Disease Activity Testing in the United States

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: The clinical utility of the multibiomarker disease activity (MBDA) test for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) management in routine care in the United States has not been thoroughly studied. METHODS: Using 2011-2015 Medicare data, we linked each patient with RA to their MBDA test result. Initiation of a biologic or Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor in the 6 months following MBDA testing was described. Multivariable adjustment evaluated the likelihood of adding or switching biologic/JAK inhibitor, controlling for potential confounders. For patients with high MBDA scores who added a new RA therapy and were subsequently retested, lack of improvement in the MBDA score was evaluated as a predictor of future RA medication failure, defined by the necessity to change RA medications again. RESULTS: Among 60,596 RA patients with MBDA testing, the proportion adding or switching biologics/JAK inhibitor among those not already taking a biologic/JAK inhibitor was 9.0% (low MBDA), 11.8% (moderate MBDA), and 19.7% (high MBDA, p < 0.0001). Similarly, among those already taking biologics/JAK inhibitor, the proportions were 5.2%, 8.3%, and 13.5% (p < 0.0001). After multivariable adjustment, referent to those with low disease MBDA scores, the likelihood of switching was 1.51-fold greater (95% CI 1.35-1.69) for patients with moderate MBDA scores, and 2.62 (2.26-3.05) for patients with high MBDA scores. Among those with high MBDA scores who subsequently added a biologic/JAK inhibitor and were retested, lack of improvement in the MBDA score category was associated with likelihood of future RA treatment failure (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.27-2.03). CONCLUSION: The MBDA score was associated with both biologic and JAK inhibitor medication addition/switching and subsequent treatment outcomes.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Curtis JR; Xie F; Yang S; Danila MI; Owensby JK; Chen L
  • Start Page

  • 237
  • End Page

  • 244
  • Volume

  • 46
  • Issue

  • 3