Adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab are effective treatments compared with placebo for RA patients who are not well controlled by conventional DMARDs, improving control of symptoms, improving physical function, and slowing radiographic changes in joints. The combination of a TNF inhibitor with methotrexate was more effective than methotrexate alone in early RA, although the clinical relevance of this additional benefit is yet to be established, particularly in view of the well-established effectiveness of MTX alone. An increased risk of serious infection cannot be ruled out for the combination of methotrexate with adalimumab or infliximab. The results of the economic evaluation based on BRAM are consistent with the observations from the review of clinical effectiveness, including the ranking of treatments. TNF inhibitors are most cost-effective when used as last active therapy. In this analysis, other things being equal, etanercept may be the TNF inhibitor of choice, although this may also depend on patient preference as to route of administration. The next most cost-effective use of TNF inhibitors is third line, as recommended in the 2002 NICE guidance. Direct comparative RCTs of TNF inhibitors against each other and against other DMARDs, and sequential use in patients who have failed a previous TNF inhibitor, are needed. Longer term studies of the quality of life in patients with RA and the impact of DMARDs on this are needed, as are longer studies that directly assess effects on joint replacement, other morbidity and mortality.