International Variation in Resource Utilisation and Treatment Costs for Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Literature Review
Recent years have witnessed substantial progress in understanding the cost implications of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). To assess the divergent methodologies and their impact on the resulting cost analyses in RA, we conducted a systematic literature review to summarise the scientific evidence of RA-induced costs. Sixty-five reviews, models or cost analyses on the burden of illness and general costs associated with RA were identified. They covered the US, Canada, Sweden, the UK, The Netherlands, Germany and Finland. Twenty-four cost analyses provided appropriate data about direct and/or indirect costs. Each study was summarised separately. Costs were discounted to 2003 and converted to US dollars. The costs per RA-year ranged from $US1503 to $US16_514. However, each study has to be interpreted individually, with consideration given to the study population, indication, age of the study, database used, type of therapy, setting, level of cost differentiation and data derivation. Health technology assessment reports offer sufficient space to adequately describe the composite parts and restrictive elements of different methodological approaches and analyses.
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