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Rituximab, an anti-CD20 antibody targeting B cells, has been approved as treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) failing treatment with tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) inhibitors.1 Reports from France, Sweden and the UK stated that rituximab as second line maintenance treatment has lower treatment costs with quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gains compared to second line TNF inhibitors.2,–,4 Annual medical costs were estimated to be 31% lower for the rituximab strategy (ie, €11.444 and €16.555, respectively).2 However, these investigators used a modelling approach, since the medical and non-medical costs for patients treated with rituximab have not yet been measured.
In the present study, we analysed medical and non-medical costs of rituximab maintenance treatment for a period of 2 years. Patients were participants of a two-centre non-randomised open-label pilot study investigating the safety …
Funding This study was supported by an unrestricted grant of Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
Competing interests Hoffmann-La Roche provided free supplies of rituximab for the patients included in the study.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the METC (Ethics Committee) of Leiden University Medical Center and Univerity Medical Center Utrecht.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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