Variations in criteria regulating treatment with reimbursed biologic DMARDs across European countries. Are differences related to country's wealth?

P. Putrik, S. Ramiro, T.K. Kvien, T. Sokka, T. Uhlig, A. Boonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To explore criteria regulating treatment with reimbursed biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) across Europe and to relate criteria to indicators of national socioeconomic welfare. METHODS: A cross-sectional study among 46 European countries. One expert from each country completed a questionnaire on criteria regulating the start, maintenance/stop and switch of reimbursed bDMARDs. A composite score was developed to evaluate the level of restrictions in prescription of a first bDMARD (0=highly restricted, 5=most liberal). The level of restrictiveness was correlated with national socioeconomic welfare indicators. RESULTS: In 10 countries (22%), no bDMARD was reimbursed. Among 36 countries with at least one biologic reimbursed, 23(64%) had no requirement for disease duration to initiate a biologic. Half of the countries required a failure of two synthetic DMARDs to qualify for therapy. 31 countries specified a minimum level of disease activity to be fulfilled and in 20 (56%) countries cut-off for disease activity score with 28-joint assessment was higher than 3.2. Four countries (11%) had the maximum composite score (most liberal) and 20 (56%) scored between 0 and 2 (more restrictive). Criteria for initiation of a bDMARD were negatively associated with countries' socioeconomic welfare (-0.34 to -0.64), and a moderate positive correlation was found between the composite score and welfare indicators (0.59-0.72). Only some countries had regulations for stopping (n=14(39%)) or switching (n=19(53%)). CONCLUSIONS: Clinical criteria regulating prescription of bDMARDs in RA differ significantly across Europe. Countries with lower socioeconomic welfare tend to have stricter eligibility criteria, pointing to inequities in access to treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2010-2021
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Volume73
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

Keywords

  • NECROSIS FACTOR THERAPY
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • RHEUMATOID-ARTHRITIS
  • EULAR RECOMMENDATIONS
  • QUEST-RA
  • GUIDELINES
  • MANAGEMENT
  • WORLDWIDE
  • HEALTH
  • IMPACT

Cite this