Treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis in developing countries. Biologics or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs?

Biomed Pharmacother. 2006 Dec;60(10):688-92. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2006.09.008. Epub 2006 Oct 10.


Biologics are highly effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but they are very expensive. The costs of biologics should limit their usage in patients with RA, especially in the developing countries. Therefore, it is necessary to develop suitable strategies for treating RA patients in these countries. In this article, the efficacy, toxicity, and cost-effectiveness of conventional DMARDs and biologics will be investigated. The therapeutic strategies for treating early RA will also be proposed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antirheumatic Agents / economics
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Biological Products / economics
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods
  • Developing Countries*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / economics
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Biological Products
  • Immunologic Factors