The past decade has witnessed remarkable advances in the field of Rheumatology with the introduction of several novel treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Although many of these agents are quite costly, they may have major long-term benefits, especially slowing disease progression and preventing disability. In our current healthcare fiscal environment, proof of benefit alone is no longer sufficient, we must also demonstrate that the expected benefits of a new agent are worth the costs of that agent. This can only be shown by formal economic evaluation, a group of analytic methods that allow us to quantify and compare the benefits (such as prevented disability, improved quality of life, etc) and the costs of medical interventions. Unfortunately, the science of economic evaluation in Rheumatology is not adequately developed to convincingly demonstrate the cost- efficiency of such therapies. There are a number of reasons for this, including the continuing controversy regarding defining meaningful clinical outcomes, identifying optimal sources of effectiveness and utility estimates, determining the role of mathematical modeling, choosing the appropriate comparator for a particular analysis, and measuring and incorporating compliance and toxicity. The aims of this international, interdisciplinary conference are to review the current state of the science and outline and methodological research agenda to identify the data needed to advance the science of economic evaluation in Rheumatology. This conference will also serve to promote collaboration between clinicians, policy makers, pharmaceutical industry scientists, health economists, and statisticians. We believe that such collaboration will expedite and enhance both the product of the methodological research itself and, subsequently, the transfer of the results into policy and practice. The meeting format will include plenary sessions by invited speakers, followed by small working sessions where attendees will discuss available data and will be charged with proposing recommendations for research agenda to improve the validity and credibility of current approaches. The proceedings of the conference will be published in the Journal of Rheumatology and disseminated through a series of oral presentations in several countries designed to raise awareness of the issue and encourage the research and collaboration needed to successfully complete this research agenda.
|Effective start/end date||6/1/02 → 5/31/03|
- National Institutes of Health: $35,000.00