Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rheumatoid Arthritis Sends Many Into Early Retirement

Date:
February 7, 2008
Source:
Springer
Summary:
The highest cost in rheumatoid arthritis results from patients having to leave the workforce early due to the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most common autoimmune diseases and a leading cause of chronic pain affecting over three million people in Europe alone.

A joint study on “The Burden of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Patient Access to Treatments” by authors from the Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden), the University of Lund (Sweden) and the Medical University of Vienna (Austria) has shown that the highest cost in rheumatoid arthritis results from patients having to leave the workforce early due to the disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most common autoimmune diseases and a leading cause of chronic pain affecting over three million people in Europe alone.

Lead author Professor Bengt Jönsson from the Stockholm School of Economics explained: “The study highlights the significant variation in patient access to disease-modifying biologic drugs for the treatment of RA.  This is important because medical data have shown that early treatment with these drugs reduces inflammation and can prevent or reduce the speed of joint damage and hence the progression of affected individuals to disability.”

The total annual economic impact of rheumatoid arthritis is estimated at €42 billion in Western Europe and €3.4 billion in Eastern Europe (2006 figures).  Improved treatment strategies as well as the application of ‘biologic’ rheumatoid arthritis drugs have been shown in randomized clinical trials to increase the chances for remission, halting of the progression of joint damage and improvement or prevention of disability.  The study also concluded that patient access to the new drugs in Europe is very low in a number of member states and varies significantly between the EU and the US.  The uptake of the drugs in the US was shown to be about three times higher than that of Western Europe.

“The costs of the drugs must be viewed within the overall cost of the disease and the benefit of these drugs over the long term, that is in relation to their positive health impact and the savings that should eventually result from this”, health economist Dr. Gisela Kobelt said.

Up to two-thirds (65 percent) of costs for rheumatoid arthritis patients are outside the health care sector – such as productivity losses, patient out-of-pocket costs and informal care.  Early retirement due to the disease is frequent, with up to 50 percent of those living with rheumatoid arthritis forced to leave the workforce and apply for a disability pension within ten years of disease onset.

“Of all the chronic diseases, rheumatoid arthritis has one of the biggest impacts on the quality of life of patients,” said Professor Josef Smolen, a rheumatologist at the Medical University of Vienna.  “I am confident that this study will contribute to the discussion on the importance of RA from a societal perspective and not just a health care perspective.  Patient access to good care and treatment including thorough follow-up examinations and access to innovative drug therapies, where indicated, are critical elements that will benefit all of society...”

The European Journal of Health Economics is a highly scientific and at the same time practical oriented journal considering the requirements of various health care systems in Europe.  Springer is the second-largest publisher of journals in the science, technology, and medicine (STM) sector and the largest publisher of STM books.  Springer is part of Springer Science+Business Media, one of the world’s leading suppliers of scientific and specialist literature.

Journal reference: Jönsson B, Kobelt G, Smolen J (Guest Editors). 2008. The Burden of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Patient Access to Treatment. The European Journal of Health Economics. Vol. 8, Suppl. 2 / January 2008

Funding for the study was provided through an unrestricted educational grant by F. Hoffmann La Roche Ltd.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Springer. "Rheumatoid Arthritis Sends Many Into Early Retirement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204102758.htm>.
Springer. (2008, February 7). Rheumatoid Arthritis Sends Many Into Early Retirement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204102758.htm
Springer. "Rheumatoid Arthritis Sends Many Into Early Retirement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204102758.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) — America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins