Another Biologic Proves Superior to Methotrexate

Jeffrey P. Callen, MD


Journal Watch 

In This Article


Perhaps the most interesting part of this report is the "study oversight" statement. In the "Methods" section, the authors clearly state that Abbott Laboratories sponsored the study and was involved in the study design. The authors note that they signed confidentiality agreements with Abbott, that a medical writer hired by Abbott wrote the first draft of the paper, and that all authors vouch for the study's fidelity to the protocol, had access to the data, and approved its submission. Most of this is standard operating procedure in the conduct of industry-sponsored research, but that they acknowledge the use of a medical writer is a first for me.

That a potent biologic agent is better than methotrexate is not new. I understand that further development of briakinumab has been suspended, and although I am happy to see these data in print, I question the impact. I would have preferred that the sponsor conduct a comparative study against another biologic agent, perhaps adalimumab, which has been tried against methotrexate and is another Abbott product.


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