The objective of this study was to evaluate current approaches to economic modeling in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and propose a new conceptual model for evaluation of the costeffectiveness of RA interventions. We followed recommendations from the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research-Society of Medical Decision Making (ISPOR-SMDM) Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force-2. The process involved scoping the decision problem by a working group and drafting a preliminary costeffectiveness model framework. A systematic literature review (SLR) of existing decisionanalytic models was performed and analysis of an RA registry was conducted to inform the structure of the draft conceptual model. Finally, an expert panel was convened to seek input on the draft conceptual model. The proposed conceptual model consists of three separate modules: 1) patient characteristic module, 2) treatment module, and 3) outcome module. Consistent with the scope, the conceptual model proposed six changes to current economic models in RA. These changes proposed are to: 1) use composite measures of disease activity to evaluate treatment response as well as disease progression (at least two measures should be considered, one as the base case and one as a sensitivity analysis); 2) conduct utility mapping based on disease activity measures; 3) incorporate subgroups based on guideline-recommended prognostic factors; 4) integrate realistic treatment patterns based on clinical practice/registry datasets; 5) assimilate outcomes that are not joint related (extra-Articular outcomes); and 6) assess mortality based on disease activity. We proposed a conceptual model that incorporates the current understanding of clinical and real-world evidence in RA, as well as of existing modeling assumptions. The proposed model framework was reviewed with experts and could serve as a foundation for developing future costeffectiveness models in RA.
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