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Rheumatoid arthritis: researchers count costs

A team of researchers from Finland have created a model to compare the cost-effectiveness of the different types of treatments for rheumatoid arthritis.

The group of researchers, who are affiliated with several institutions in Finland, have described in a paper published in PLOS One how they created a model that uses real-world data to calculate the most effective option using multiple factors associated with treatments such as whether the therapies were given subcutaneously or intravenously, history of drug use, how patients responded to prior treatments, and other predictors of future outcomes.

They compared four main options: two types of anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapies, and the drugs tocilizumab and abatacept – and found that rituximab was the lowest cost option of those tested, but when costs associated with switching therapies and administration costs were included, anti-TNF agents had the lowest costs and also the highest gains on quality-adjusted life year scores.

In their work, the researchers included data that described direct costs such as the actual cost of a drug, administration, how much it would cost to switch from one therapy to another, and inpatient and outpatient care. They also included indirect costs such as those associated with a disability pension or sick leave, and factored in several health assessment scores for the patients included in the study.

The researchers noted that most of the patients in the study were female, and their median age was 56. Also, more than half of them had a treatment response to a TNF inhibitor.


>> Read the full article here

Source: Medical Xpress


Huoponen S, Aaltonen KJ, Viikinkoski J, Rutanen J, Relas H, Taimen K, et al. Cost-effectiveness of abatacept, tocilizumab and TNF-inhibitors compared with rituximab as second-line biologic drug in rheumatoid arthritis. PLoS One. 2019 Jul 24; 14(7): e0220142. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220142