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Population based studies of biological antirheumatic drug use in southern Sweden: comparison with pharmaceutical sales
  1. P Geborek1,
  2. E Nitelius2,
  3. S Noltorp3,
  4. H Petri4,
  5. L Jacobsson5,
  6. L Larsson1,
  7. T Saxne1,
  8. I Leden6
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, Lund University Hospital, S-221 85 Lund, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, Trelleborg Hospital, S-231 55 Trelleborg, Sweden
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, Helsingborg Hospital, S-251 87 Helsinborg, Sweden
  4. 4Department of Internal Medicine, Simrishamn Hospital, S-272 81 Simrishamn, Sweden
  5. 5Department of Rheumatology, Malmö University Hospital, S-205 02 Malmö, Sweden
  6. 6Department of Internal Medicine, Kristianstad Hospital, S-291 85 Kristianstad, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr P Geborek

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This study aimed at assessing the drug costs for biological treatments in a geographically defined area in southern Sweden (Scania province, population 1 145 090, November 2002), and at identifying any geographical differences and changes with time in the overall use of these compounds. Also, we wanted to investigate the completeness of the registry held by the South Swedish Arthritis Treatment Group (SSATG).1 During the study period no economic prescribing restrictions existed for these drugs in the region. The Swedish social security system covers all prescribed drug costs exceeding SEK 1800 (€170) a year to all patients in need, where need is based on their physician’s judgment. Thus, the use of biological antirheumatic treatment was limited only by restricted drug availability and capacity of the administration facilities. Medical practice was, however, under strong influence by guidelines from the Swedish Rheumatological Association. …

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