(HealthDay News) – For patients with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), continued etanercept treatment is associated with reduced work and activity impairment, according to a study published online April 1 in Arthritis Care & Research.
Devon Hone, from McKesson Specialty in Toronto, and colleagues recruited 204 RA patients (mean age, 46.6 years) initiating etanercept (50mg/week) between January 2009 and March 2010 to quantify its impact on work and activity impairment. Telephone interviews were conducted at baseline and one, two, three, and six months after etanercept initiation to assess work productivity, activity impairment, and domestic productivity. The costs of work impairment were estimated using the human capital approach.
The researchers found that the 153 patients who remained on treatment after six months (continuers) exhibited significant decreases in overall work impairment (41.9% at baseline vs. 25.2% at six months); absenteeism (8.4% vs. 2.3%); presenteeism (38.9% vs. 24.3%); and activity impairment (55.7% vs. 30.9%). They also had a significant, 76.4% reduction in weekly work hours lost due to RA (3.2 vs. 0.8 hours). For the continuers, the projected 12-month gain in work productivity was 284.5 hours per patient, equivalent to $3,233 to $22,533, depending on the annual income level. This gain partly or completely offset the annual cost of treatment ($20,190). At six months, domestic productivity was 69.9%, marking a significant improvement from 41.5% at baseline.
“In U.S. employed, moderate-to-severe RA patients, etanercept led to significant reductions in overall work and activity impairment; the value of the increased work productivity partially or completely offset the cost of treatment,” the authors write.
Several authors were employees or former employees of McKesson Specialty, which was contracted by Amgen to conduct the study. The research was funded by Immunex Corporation, a subsidiary of Amgen and Wyeth.