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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2008 Nov-Dec;26(6):1059-66.

Cost-effectiveness of infliximab in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in clinical practice.

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  • 1Helsinki University, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of infliximab therapy in Finnish RA patients in a real-life clinical setting and identified factors influencing it, using the national register of biological treatment (ROB-FIN).

METHODS:

A cost-utility analysis was performed, derived from EQ-5D, and related to HAQ score and disease activity using multiple regression. QALYs were calculated based on these utilities, using patient-level data up to the last control registered. Cost-effectiveness analyses included costs per ACR50 responder, and costs per low DAS28 score (<3.2) achieved, in combination with a clinically significant improvement (>1.2). The costs considered were direct medical costs of infliximab and cost of intravenous infusion. Patient-level costs were calculated based on dose and dosage frequency, and were related to the difference in QALYs resulting from infliximab therapy.

RESULTS:

The 297 patients had been treated with infliximab for an average of 21 months. The HAQ score and patient's global assessment improved significantly on infliximab therapy. More than two-thirds of the patients achieved a clinically important improvement in HAQ. A QALY gain occurred in 76%. 35% of these had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of < or =40,000 Euro/QALY gained, the median cost being 51,884 Euro. The cost per QALY gained was significantly lower for patients achieving an ACR50 response at 3, 12 and 24 months.

CONCLUSION:

Treatment with infliximab and aiming at ACR50 response appears cost-effective, remembering the restrictions of an observational study set up. Current Care guidelines, which require sufficient disease control when deciding on continuing biological therapy, get support from these findings.

PMID:
19210870
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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