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Country economy is a stronger predictor of therapy initiation
Date:6/18/2010

Rome, Italy, Friday 18 June 2010: There is significant disparity between 'richer' and 'poorer' countries in terms of access to biological treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to results from a multinational study across four continents presented today at EULAR 2010, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Rome, Italy. Furthermore, findings from a separate study show that RA patients report the severity of their disease in the same way, irrespective of the country where they live.

Results of a multinational study assessing whether macro-economic differences predict likelihood of treatment with a biologic showed that at the start of the study, RA patients in rich countries were three times more likely to have already received a biologic than those in poor countries (33% vs. 11.6%). Assessing the number of patients who had not received a biologic before the start of the study showed that the disparity between patients in rich and poor countries (20% vs. 14%) continued in the following four to five years.

Results of a second study showed that macro-economic status did not have an impact on RA patients' perceptions of their disease severity, as measured by several clinical measures collated within the Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) index. PROs were compared to the DAS measure of disease activity (DAS28) and a significant association for both rich and poor countries was (beta coefficient 0.73 (0.70-0.77) vs. 0.78 (0.73-0.82) respectively) detected. This indicates that, regardless of macro-economic status of the country, patients in the study report disease severity in a consistent way.

"The QUEST-RA study involves researchers and patients from 32 countries worldwide, and is the first of this scale to reveal some interesting findings related to the impact of countries' macro-economic status on patients' perceptions of disease, as well as the healthcare options available to them," said Dr. Tuul
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Contact: Rory Berrie
eularpressoffice@uk.cohnwolfe.com
44-790-151-3297
European League Against Rheumatism
Source:Eurekalert

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