Biological therapy in inflammatory rheumatic diseases: issues in Central and Eastern European countries

Eur J Health Econ. 2014 May:15 Suppl 1:S35-43. doi: 10.1007/s10198-014-0592-6. Epub 2014 May 16.


Biological drugs revolutionized the treatment of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Access to treatment presents substantial variability across Europe. The economic level of a particular country as well as administrative restrictions have been proved as determining factors of biological drug uptake. The objective of this paper was to provide an overview of biological treatment in six selected Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, namely in the Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The literature is summarized with regard to the epidemiology, disease burden and use of biological agents in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Moreover, an estimate is provided on the prevalence and number of patients with biological treatment based on international and local sources. In view of the limited availability of information and uncertainty in data, there is an urgent need for development of systematic and comprehensive data collection in inflammatory rheumatic diseases in CEE countries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology
  • Biological Therapy*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / drug therapy
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / epidemiology
  • Young Adult