Date: 21 Dec 2007

The burden of rheumatoid arthritis and access to treatment: determinants of access

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As part of the study “The Burden of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Patient Access to Treatment”, this paper reviews the impact on access to RA drugs of the approval processes, pricing and funding decisions and times to market (access) in different countries. In addition, an overview of health technology assessments (HTA) and the economic literature related to RA treatments is provided. The time from approval to market access ranged from immediate to over 500 days in the countries included in the study. A total of 55 HTA reports were identified, 40 of them in the period between 2002 and 2006; 29 were performed by European HTA agencies, 14 in Canada and 7 in the United States. A total of 239 economic evaluations related to RA were identified in a specialized health economic database (HEED).

This section deals with access to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drugs. There are a number of steps, and determinants influencing these steps, before a drug can be prescribed to and used by a patient, including research and development, regulatory approval process, pricing, reimbursement, and adoption by prescribes.