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Patients’ access to biological therapy in chronic inflammatory conditions; per capita GDP does not explain the intercountry differences
  1. László Gulácsi1,
  2. Fanni Rencz1,2,
  3. Gyula Poór3,
  4. Zoltán Szekanecz4,
  5. Valentin Brodszky1,
  6. Petra Baji1,
  7. Márta Péntek1,5
  1. 1Department of Health Economics, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
  2. 2Doctoral School of Clinical Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
  3. 3First Department of Rheumatology, National Institute of Rheumatology and Physiotherapy, Budapest, Hungary
  4. 4Department of Rheumatology, University of Debrecen Medical and Health Science Center, Institute of Medicine, Debrecen, Hungary
  5. 5Department of Rheumatology and Physiotherapy, Flór Ferenc County Hospital, Kistarcsa, Hungary
  1. Correspondence to Dr Márta Péntek, Corvinus University of Budapest, Postal address: Fővám tér 8., Budapest H-1093, Hungary; marta.pentek{at}

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Biological agents revolutionised the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) as well as Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC) and psoriasis. RA studies highlighted that uptake of biologic drugs varies strongly across Europe and the income of a country is considered as a major determinant factor for usage.1–3 Putrik et al4 ,5 found that access to biologics in RA—expressed as a composite score of availability, affordability and acceptability—showed a strong positive correlation with gross domestic product (GDP)/capita (r=0.86) in Europe. Much less is known on this topic in AS, PsA and the other three inflammatory diseases.

We analysed real-world biologic usage data and their relationships with GDP/capita in the six inflammatory conditions in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. According to our previous literature search, there is no precise and comparable country-specific prevalence data in this region.6–8 Therefore, we estimated the biologic treatment rates per 100 000 inhabitants.

Considering the total of six diagnoses, …

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  • Contributors The study was planned by LG and MP. Data analysis and conducting the study were performed by FR, VB and PB. GyP and ZSz contributed significantly to the interpretation of data and critically revised the content. The manuscript was drafted by LG, FR and MP. All authors reviewed and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data from the study are available.