Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and other spondylarthritides (SpA) impose great impact on the individual in addition to the costs on society, which may be reduced by effective pharmacological treatment. Industry independent health economic studies should complement studies sponsored by industry.
Objective: To study secular trends in baseline health utilities in patients commencing TNF blockade for arthritis in clinical practice over 7 years; to address utility changes during treatment; to investigate the influence of previous treatment courses; to study the feasibility of health utility measures, and to compare them across diagnostic entities.
Methods EuroQoL 5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) utility data were collected from a structured clinical follow-up program of anti-TNF treated patients with RA (N=2554), PsA (N=574) or SpA (N=586). Time trends were calculated. Completer analysis was used.
Results There were weak or non-significant secular trends for increasing baseline utilities over time for RA, PsA and SpA. Maximum gain in utilities occurred already after 2 weeks for all diagnoses and remained stable for patients remaining on therapy. First and second anti-TNF courses performed similarly.
Conclusions: Utilities at inclusion remained largely unchanged for RA, PsA and SpA over 7 years. Improvement occurred early during treatment and not beyond 6 weeks at the group level. Improvement during the first course was not consistently greater than the second. There were no major differences between RA, PsA and SpA. EQ-5D proved feasible and applicable across these diagnoses. These “real world” data may be useful for health economic modelling.