The burden of rheumatoid arthritis and access to treatment: outcome and cost-utility of treatments
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- Kobelt, G. & Jönsson, B. Eur J Health Econ (2008) 8: 95. doi:10.1007/s10198-007-0091-0
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Within the series of articles investigating the burden of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), this paper reviews the methods used for economic assessment of the RA treatments by HTA agencies and other bodies involved in cost-effectiveness analysis and the current status of the field. The overall methods, as well as the challenges, of cost-effectiveness analysis in RA are common to all chronic progressive diseases where much of the treatment benefit is delayed, while costs occur immediately. Also, as in all disabling diseases, much of the costs occur outside the health-care system, due to the rapid loss of work capacity and the need for informal care in the later stages of the disease. Thus, it is essential to adopt a long-term view and consider costs from the perspective of society, rather than the health-care service, to increase the relevance of the results for policy making.