Systematic Reviews
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Rheumatol. Jul 12, 2015; 5(2): 108-126
Published online Jul 12, 2015. doi: 10.5499/wjr.v5.i2.108
What is the best biological treatment for rheumatoid arthritis? A systematic review of effectiveness
Jéssica Barreto dos Santos, Juliana de Oliveira Costa, Haliton Alves de Oliveira Junior, Lívia Lovato Pires Lemos, Vânia Eloisa de Araújo, Marina Amaral de Ávila Machado, Alessandra Maciel Almeida, Francisco de Assis Acurcio, Juliana Alvares
Jéssica Barreto dos Santos, Haliton Alves de Oliveira Junior, Postgraduate Programme in Medicines and Pharmaceutical Assistance, College of Pharmacy, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Av. Presidente Antônio Carlos, 6627 Campus Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270-901, Brazil
Juliana de Oliveira Costa, Vânia Eloisa de Araújo, Francisco de Assis Acurcio, Juliana Alvares, College of Pharmacy, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Av. Presidente Antônio Carlos, 6627 Campus Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270-901, Brazil
Lívia Lovato Pires Lemos, Department of Social Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, SUS Collaborating Centre-CCATES, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Av. Presidente Antônio Carlos, 6627 Campus Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270-901, Brazil
Marina Amaral de Ávila Machado, Alessandra Maciel Almeida, College of Medicine, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Av. Prof. Alfredo Balena, 190, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 30130-100, Brazil
Author contributions: dos Santos JB and Costa JO designed the study, analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript; Oliveira Junior HA and Lemos LLP designed the study and analyzed the data; Araújo VE designed the study, analyzed the data and edited the manuscript; Machado MAA contributed with the discussion; Almeida AM, Acurcio FA and Alvares J designed the study, contributed with the discussion and edited the manuscript.
Supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Brazil.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Jéssica Barreto dos Santos, Master Student of Post-Graduation, Postgraduate Programme in Medicines and Pharmaceutical Assistance, College of Pharmacy, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Av. Presidente Antônio Carlos, 6627 Campus Pampulha, bloco 2, 1o andar, sala 1023, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270-901, Brazil. jessica_oterrab@hotmail.com
Telephone: +55-31-99944477 Fax: +55-31-99944477
Received: June 27, 2014
Peer-review started: June 29, 2014
First decision: Steptember 27, 2014
Revised: October 24, 2014
Accepted: October 31, 2014
Article in press: November 3, 2014
Published online: July 12, 2015
Core Tip

Core tip: Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, progressive, systemic inflammatory disease that preferentially affects the synovial membranes of joints, eventually leading to bone and cartilage destruction. Its worldwide prevalence is estimated to be 0.3% to 1%. Observational studies could provide relevant information for deciding the choice of treatments, the elaboration of clinical protocols, and the formulation of health policies. The present systematic review of biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs included cohort observational studies that reported treatment results applied in real-life conditions; thus, these studies are able to fill in gaps in knowledge left by clinical trials.