We compared variations among Canadian provinces in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) initiating anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy.
Data were obtained from the Optimization of Humira trial (OH) and from the Ontario Biologics Research Initiative (OBRI). Baseline characteristics were compared between regions: Ontario (ON), Quebec (QC), and other provinces (OTH). We compared Ontario OH to OBRI patients who were initiating anti-TNF therapy.
In 300 OH patients, mean age was 54.8 years (13.3). There were 151 (50.3%) ON patients, 57 from QC (19%), and 92 from OTH (30.7%). Regional differences were seen in the number of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) ever taken (ON: 3.8 ± 1.4, QC: 3.1 ± 1.1, OTH: 3.3 ± 1.4; p
To estimate, from a public payer's perspective, the 5-year cost effectiveness of adding leflunomide (LEF) to a sequence of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) representative of a typical rheumatoid arthritis (RA) management approach adopted by Canadian rheumatologists.
A DMARD sequence including LEF was compared with one excluding it, using a 5-year simulation model where patients with RA cycle through different treatment regimens. Data were obtained through a systematic literature search (drug withdrawal rates, number and type of adverse events, American College of Rheumatology 20% responder status) and separately conducted surveys (choice of DMARD sequence, management of adverse events). Costs for adverse event management were calculated using the Ontario Schedule of Benefits, and monitoring costs were calculated according to official Canadian product monograph recommendations. Wholesale prices of all drugs were adjusted by the allowable markup and prescription fees. Utilities (as measured by the standard gamble [SG] and rating scale [RS] techniques) were obtained from 482 patients who participated in a 1-year randomized controlled trial that compared LEF, methotrexate, and placebo. Costs and utilities were discounted by 3%. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis was performed.
Adding LEF to a conventional strategy of DMARDs increased the 5-year management costs by $1,231 compared with the strategy without LEF, which results in a cost-effectiveness ratio of $13,096 per additional year of response to treatment, and cost-utility ratios of $54,229 (RS) and $71,988 (SG) per quality-adjusted life-year gained.
Adding LEF as a new option to a conventional sequence of DMARDs extends the time patients may benefit from DMARD therapy at a reasonable cost effectiveness and cost utility. LEF data are limited to clinical trials; data from observational studies would be needed to corroborate these findings.
To describe early rheumatologic management for newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Canada.
A retrospective cohort of 339 randomly selected patients with RA diagnosed from 2001-2003 from 18 rheumatology practices was audited between 2005-2007.
The most frequent initial disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) included hydroxychloroquine (55.5%) and methotrexate (40.1%). Initial therapy with multiple DMARD (15.6%) or single DMARD and corticosteroid combinations (30.7%) was infrequent. Formal assessment measures were noted infrequently, including the Health Assessment Questionnaire (34.6%) and Disease Activity Score for 28 joints (8.9%).
Initial pharmacotherapy is consistent with guidelines from the period. The infrequent reporting of multiple DMARD combinations and formal assessment measures has implications for current clinical management and warrants contemporary reassessment.
To compare disease-related medical care and productivity costs, and utilities, in 482 patients with rheumatoid arthritis randomised to receive leflunomide, methotrexate or placebo during a 12-month period.
Prospective pharmacoeconomic analysis of a 1-year randomised double-blind trial set in North America.
Societal and the Ontario Ministry of Health.
Information on healthcare resources, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of working time and time spent on chores, related to the disease or the medication, were collected at 4-week intervals and at study discontinuation. Rating scale and standard gamble (SG) utilities (0 = worse; 100 = best) were collected at baseline and at 6 and 12 months or study exit. Medical care costs in Canadian dollars (Can dollars) were calculated using Ontario reimbursement schedules. US patients' expenses were converted to Can dollars using 1995 purchasing power parity. Lost wages were calculated by age and gender according to 1995 Canadian wage data. All costs were adjusted to 1999 Can dollars and arithmetic mean costs were compared using the nonparametric bootstrap. Analysis of covariance was performed to compare utilities between groups.
Mean (standard deviation) rating scale values and SG utilities, respectively, for leflunomide, methotrexate and placebo were 67.7 (18.0), 64.8 (18.1) and 57.5 (9.2), and 80.2 (22.1), 83.2 (18.0) and 77.0 (20.5). Both leflunomide and methotrexate had higher rating scale values (p
To describe the longterm effectiveness and safety of etanercept in Canadian patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), treated over 24 months in clinical practice.
Patients with active PsA (= 3 tender and = 3 swollen joints) were recruited from 22 centers. Etanercept was administered at 50 mg/week subcutaneously. In addition to clinical assessment of skin and joint disease, conducted at baseline and at Months 6, 12, 18, and 24, regular patient interviews were conducted by telephone. Patient responses related to health status, disability, and work productivity were scored using the patient global assessment tool, the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), the Health and Labour Questionnaire (HLQ), and the Fatigue Severity Scale.
Out of 110 patients, 71 (65%) maintained etanercept treatment through the end of our study. All clinical measures of disease severity, including joint tenderness/pain, joint swelling, and Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score, improved significantly between baseline and Month 6 of etanercept treatment and remained constant thereafter. By the end of our study, 79% of patients achieved a Psoriatic Arthritis Response Criteria response, and 56% of patients achieved a 0.5-point improvement on HAQ, indicating clinically significant improvement in disability; 14% of patients finished our study free of disability (HAQ = 0). Patients' work productivity and fatigue improved significantly in parallel with these clinical and functional improvements.
Continuous treatment with etanercept over 2 years in a clinical setting improved clinical symptoms of PsA while reducing fatigue, improving work productivity, and ameliorating or eliminating disability.
To compare the primary therapist model (PTM), provided by a single rheumatology-trained primary therapist, with the traditional treatment model (TTM), provided by a physical therapy (PT) and/or occupational therapy (OT) generalist, for treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Eligible patients were adults requiring rehabilitation treatment who had not received PT/OT in the past 2 years. Participants were randomized to the PTM or TTM group. The primary outcome was defined as the proportion of clinical responders who experienced a > or =20% improvement in 2 of the following measures from baseline to 6 months: Health Assessment Questionnaire, pain visual analog scale, and Arthritis Community Research and Evaluation Unit RA Knowledge Questionnaire.
Of 144 consenting patients, 33 (10 PTM participants, 23 TTM participants) dropped out without completing any followup assessment, leaving 111 for analysis (63 PTM participants, 48 TTM participants). The majority were women (PTM 87.3%, TTM 79.2%), with a mean age of 54.2 years and 56.8 years for the PTM and TTM groups, respectively. Average disease duration was 10.6 years and 13.2 years for each group, respectively. At 6 months, 44.4% of patients in the PTM group were clinical responders versus 18.8% in the TTM group (chi(2) = 8.09, P = 0.004).
Compared with the TTM, the PTM was associated with better outcomes in patients with RA. The results, however, should be interpreted with caution due to the high dropout rate in the TTM group.