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released: 31 Mar 2011 author: AIHW media release

Disease and modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are now considered first-line treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). When initiated early, they have been shown to alter the disease course and reduce joint erosion, reducing or preventing disability and improving quality of life.

ISSN 1833-0991; ISBN 978-1-74249-133-2; Cat. no. PHE 138; 58pp.; Internet only

Full publication

Publication table of contents

  • Preliminary material
    • Title and verso page
    • Contents
    • Acknowledgments
    • Summary
      • What was the financial cost of DMARD treatment through the PBS?
      • What DMARDs were supplied?
      • Who was supplied with DMARDs?
      • Who were the DMARD prescribers?
      • Does starting treatment with bDMARDs change the supply of conventional DMARDs?
  • Body section
    • 1 Introduction
      • What is rheumatoid arthritis?
        • Classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis
      • What are DMARDs?
      • Extent of need
        • General practitioner (GP) consultations
      • Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
      • Rheumatoid arthritis and DMARDs
      • DMARDs on the PBS
      • Structure of the report
    • 2 Data source and methodology
      • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
      • The data extract
        • Data items
        • Record selection
        • Population subgroups
          • Remoteness
          • Socioeconomic status
        • Completeness of the supply of DMARD data
    • 3 Supply of DMARDs on the PBS
      • Conventional DMARDs on the PBS
      • Prescribers
      • Conventional DMARD users
        • Socioeconomic profile
        • Regional profile
      • bDMARDs on the PBS
        • bDMARD users
      • Disease prevalence and DMARD prescriptions
    • 4 bDMARD treatment pathways
      • The bDMARD cohort
      • The first bDMARD
      • Conventional DMARDs before the supply of bDMARDs
      • Supply of conventional DMARDs following the initiation of bDMARD therapy
    • 5 PBS subsidy for DMARDs
      • Overall expenditure
      • Expenditure on conventional DMARDs
      • Expenditure on bDMARDs
    • 6 Discussion
      • Key findings
      • Notes on the data
  • End matter
    • Appendix A: DMARD treatment pathways
    • Appendix B: DMARDs on the PBS, 2003-2007
    • Appendix C: PBS data and codes
    • References

Recommended citation

AIHW 2011. The use of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs for the management of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis series no. 16. Cat. no. PHE 138. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 30 May 2017 <http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737418554>.

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