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Biologic Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Is Low in Brazil, According to Kantar Health Research
Date:9/14/2013

New York, NY (PRWEB) September 14, 2013

Despite the impairment caused by their disease, only 13 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients in Brazil who are eligible for biologic therapy according to clinical guidelines are actually using a biologic, according to new findings from Kantar Health’s National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS). The research will be presented today at the ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research) 4th Latin America Conference in Buenos Aires.

Recently updated treatment recommendations from the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) suggest that rheumatoid arthritis patients who fail to respond to a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) be administered a biologic DMARD. According to NHWS, more than half of moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis patients in Brazil are eligible for biologic DMARD therapy according to these guidelines; however, only 13 percent actually use these therapies.

Biologic DMARDs are injectable treatments that are typically much more expensive than traditional DMARDs. Only 20 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients in Brazil reported a monthly income of more than R$10,000, suggesting that they would have significantly worse access to an expensive treatment. In addition, nearly 30 percent of these patients said they have a fear of needles, which might also affect use of an injectable therapy.

“The majority of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in Brazil have high levels of disease severity, and these patients report more physical impairment,” said Dave Pomerantz, Senior Vice President, Kantar Health. “However, treatment rates among patients with rheumatoid arthritis were generally modest overall, particularly with respect to the biologic DMARDs. Our research suggests that poor acces
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