OMERACT 6 Economics Working Group Report: A proposal for a reference case for economic evaluation in rheumatoid arthritis

S Gabriel, M Drummond, A Maetzel, M Boers, D Coyle, V Welch, P Tugwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Standardization of methods for economic evaluation is essential for defining the methodological research agenda that will advance the discipline. Standardization also greatly facilitates the interpretation and comparison of the results of economic analyses. For these reasons, several jurisdictions now require economic evaluation, conducted according to standardized methodological guidelines, as a key ingredient in decision making for reimbursement of health treatments and technologies.. The application of these general guidelines, however, can be difficult in the absence of disease-specific information. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the recent emergence of innovative, highly effective, but also expensive. treatments has created an immediate need to more fully understand the economic implications of RA treatments. With this background, the OMERACT Economics Working, Group set out in 1994 to develop an RA-specific reference case for economic evaluation. This report summarizes the OMERACT process leading to specific recommendations on the 12 key elements of a proposed "reference case" for economic evaluation in RA. These elements include: study horizon, duration of therapy, extrapolation beyond trial duration, modeling beyond therapy, synthesis of comparisons where head-to-head trials do not exist, clinical outcome measures, mortality, valuation of health states, resource utilization, discontinuation of therapy, therapeutic sequence, and population risk stratification. Through these efforts, the OMERACT Economics Working Group aims to expedite and enhance the conduct and dissemination of methodological research in economic analyses in the rheumatic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)886-890
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Rheumatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003


  • economic evaluation
  • reference case

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