Access to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drugs still varies widely across Europe, according to a new report. And large variations of affordability across the region can lead to different assessments of the cost-effectiveness of the treatments by regulators, thus exacerbating the inequality. The European Journal of Health Economics (EJHE) report also highlights that speed and levels of access depend on where patients live: RA patients treated with biologics range from 30% in Norway to less than 1% in Bulgaria.
The report's authors call on the European authorities to realize the potential benefits of early and wide access to innovative RA treatments. Two million people are affected by the disease in Europe, and disease remission can be a realistic goal with the right treatments at the right time.
Brian Ager, director general of EFPIA, commented: "It is particularly appropriate that this report is published today, on World Arthritis Day..We hope it will stimulate discussions on how we achieve the optimal use of new technologies and treatment for all patients."
The report — the latest in a series of EJHE publications examining 'the burden of rheumatoid arthritis and access to treatment: uptake of new therapies' — is available for download here: http://www.comparatorreports.se