Pharmacoeconomic analysis is aimed at supporting choices between alternatives available for the efficient management of specific conditions. Aim of the paper is to provide an overview of the main features of pharmacoeconomic evaluations, with the objective of providing the reader with the basic tools necessary to read and interpret or to design and conduct a pharmacoeconomic analysis in RA and in other rheumatic diseases. The paragraphs will cover in detail the definition of health economic evaluation and pharmacoeconomics, the alternatives to be compared, the perspective of the analysis, costs and effects (presenting in detail direct costs and effects, indirect costs and effects, intangible costs and effects and source of data), and pharmacoeconomic techniques. Pharmacoeconomic analyses have to be conducted accurately to provide valuable information to guide the choice of options representing the best value for money without compromising the quality of care delivered. For this reason, as these analyses generally present some limitations, a very close and strong relationship between pharmacoeconomists and clinicians is crucial both in the design of pharmacoeconomic studies and in the interpretation of their results, and also in the development of more satisfactory methods and indicators.