We have safety data extending out several years with Orencia (abatacept). Many patients will continue to see improvments on this medication over time. No significant new or unexpected side effects have been seen that were not reported in the initial clinical trials. But the long term safety of any immune modulating treatment requires much longer follow up.
Your question concerning tapering drugs is a very good one, but there are few studies looking at “induction” and “maintenance” treatment for RA. We are very interested in this question and working with an international group of investigators to develop study designs that can provide us with guidance.