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Biologic Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Is Low in Brazil, According to Kantar Health Research

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 access to these medications and patients’ attitudes may be hindering uptake of biologics, which would delay the progress of the disease.”

Visit Kantar Health’s website to download the full poster, “Unmet Needs and Biologic Use among Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Brazil.”

About the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS)
The study’s results were drawn from the 2011 and 2012 Brazil NHWS, a nationally representative, self-administered survey conducted annually. Topics covered include the health status, attitudes, behaviors and outcomes among adults 18 or older.

Kantar Health conducts the NHWS in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. The survey is the largest self-reported dataset in the healthcare industry.

About Kantar Health
Kantar Health is a leading global healthcare consulting firm and trusted advisor to many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device and diagnostic companies. It combines evidence-based research capabilities with deep scientific, therapeutic and clinical knowledge, commercial development know-how, and brand and marketing expertise to help clients evaluate opportunities, launch products and maintain brand and market leadership.

Kantar Health deeply understands the influence of patients, payers and physicians, especially as they relate to the performance and payment of medicines and the delivery of healthcare services. Its 700+ healthcare industry specialists work across the product lifecycle, from preclinical development to launch, acting as catalysts to successful decision-making in life sciences and helping clients prioritize their product development and portfolio activities, differentiate their brands and drive product success post-launch. For more information, please visit

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