Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic and progressive autoimmune disease that primarily affects the joints. China has globally the highest number of RA patients, and the Chinese RA market boasts six biologics: the TNF-α inhibitors etanercept (Amgen’s Enbrel, biosimilars), adalimumab (AbbVie’s Humira), infliximab (Janssen’s Remicade), and golimumab (Janssen’s Simponi); theIL-6 inhibitor tocilizumab (Roche’s Actemra); the B-cell modulator rituximab (Roche’s MabThera, biosimilars); and the oral JAK inhibitor Xeljanz (tofacitinib). The TNF-α inhibitors are the most widely prescribed targeted therapies for RA patients refractory to conventional DMARDs, and other biologics and the JAK inhibitor tofacitinib largely compete for use in TNF-α-inhibitor-refractory patients. With the expected launch of additional targeted therapies, in addition to the availability of the cost-effective biosimilars of marketed TNF-α inhibitors during the forecast period, the Chinese RA market will witness fierce competition and increasing challenges to gain market uptake.

  • How large is China’s drug-treatable RA population and how will the drug-treatment rate change during the forecast period?
  • Which are the most commercially relevant drugs in China’s RA market and why? What are interviewed experts’ insights on current treatment options? Which clinical needs remain unfulfilled?
  • What are the key market access considerations of key therapies in the RA pipeline in China? What sales/uptake could they secure in RA? What are interviewed experts’ opinion on the key emerging therapies?
  • What are the key drivers and constraints in the China RA market, and how will the market evolve over the forecast period?


China In-Depth: Comprehensive market intelligence providing world-class epidemiology, keen insight into the China specific access & reimbursement environment, current treatment paradigms, in-depth pipeline assessments, and drug forecasts supported by detailed primary and secondary research.

Release date

June 2019



Primary Research

Qualitative and quantitative insights driven by 5 country-specific interviews with thought-leading rheumatologists, supported by survey data collected for this and other DRG research.


Diagnosed prevalence of RA by disease stage. Clinically and market relevant drug-treatable populations.


10-year, annualized, drug-level sales and patient shares of key RA therapies through 2028, based on primary and secondary market research to formulate bottom-up assumptions


Phase III/PR: 8 drugs; Phase II: 2 drugs; Coverage of select early-phase products.

Table of contents

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis - Geographic Focus - China - Rheumatoid Arthritis - China In-Depth - China
    • China In-Depth: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Author(s): Akash Saini, Ph.D.; Sunali D. Goonesekera, SM; Amardeep Singh, M.Pharma

Akash is a Principal Analyst in the China In-Depth team at Decision Resources Group. Since 2016, he has specialized in a range of indications including rare disease indications such as DMD, ALS, ITP, IPF, JIA, and retinitis pigmentosa. He has authored Disease Landscape & Forecast reports, Access & Reimbursement reports, and Treatment Algorithm reports based on primary market research and real-world evidence. Prior to joining DRG, Akash was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He has a Ph.D. from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi.

Sunali Goonesekera is an Associate Epidemiologist at Decision Resources Group.

Sunali holds a Master’s degree in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health and a B.A. in Biology (Honors) from Dartmouth College. Prior to joining Decision Resources Group, Sunali conducted epidemiological research and lead authored two manuscripts on racial/ethnic disparities in metabolic diseases at the New England Research Institutes. She has contributed to multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals in epidemiology and in the biological sciences.

Amardeep is a Senior Analyst in Decision Resources Group’s China-In-Depth team. In this role, he specializes in disease landscape and forecast reports based on a range of indications and therapy areas and focused specifically on the China healthcare market.

Prior to joining Decision Resources Group, Amardeep has worked with WNS Global Services for more than 5 years, where he worked in commercial analytics team to support Respiratory franchise of one of the top ten global pharma company. He also worked with GlobalData for 1.5 years and authored the syndicated reports on Rare, Ophthalmology and Psychiatric disorders. He earned a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Management from University of Delhi and Bachelor of Pharmacy from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), New Delhi.


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