A cost-utility analysis of infliximab plus methotrexate versus methotrexate alone for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The cornerstone of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is early intervention with drug therapies. There are, however, limitations to the long-term effectiveness and safety of the conventionally-used drugs. While the use of new drug therapies, called biologicals, have yielded positive results in clinical trials, these drugs are many times more expensive than the traditional therapies for rheumatoid arthritis. Already a Doctor of Pharmacy, Carlo Marra is focusing his PhD studies in Health Care and Epidemiology on the long term costs and consequences (such as health-related quality of life) of using biological agents instead of traditional drug therapies. The potential of these drugs to reduce other direct and indirect health care costs and improve quality of life for patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis may, in fact, make them more-cost-effective over the long term. The results of this study could help inform drug therapy funding decisions by provincial drug plans.