Pharmacologic and economic differentiation of drugs for RA in Italy

Patrizia Berto, Mario Eandi



Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive and degenerative illness, which affects about 0.5% of the adult population with significant social costs. In Italy there are approximately 300,000 people with RA, with twice as many women than men. RA causes progressive deformity and disability and is associated with numerous co-morbid conditions that reduce the life expectancy of 5-10 years. The costs of RA have a serious impact on the entire community, especially in terms of disability, hospitalization and medical care. In Italy has been estimated that cost of illness could reach about 1,600 million euros, of which over two thirds are represented by indirect costs. The treatment of RA is evolving and the introduction of biological drugs has resulted in a significant progress in terms of therapeutic possibilities. Etanercept, the only soluble receptor of TNF-alfa currently approved appears to be cost-effective and it is recommended by major guidelines for the treatment of RA.


Rheumatoid arthritis; Costs; Economics; Italy

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