OPINION: Biologics registers in RA: methodological aspects, current role and future applications

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Abstract

| The beginning of the 21st century saw a biopharmaceutical revolution in the treatment of inflammatory rheumatic diseases, particularly rheumatoid arthritis. The fast-evolving use of biologic therapies highlighted the need to develop registers at national and international levels with the aim of collecting long-term data on patient outcomes. Over the past 15 years, many biologics registers have contributed a wealth of data and provided robust and reliable evidence on the use, effectiveness and safety of these therapies. The unavoidable challenges posed by the continuous introduction of new therapies, particularly with regard to understanding their long-term safety, highlights the importance of learning from experience with established biologic therapies. In this Perspectives article, the role of biologics registers in bridging the evidence gap between efficacy in clinical trials and real-world effectiveness is discussed, with a focus on methodological aspects of registers, their unique features and challenges and their role going forward.

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