Leflunomide: a new disease modifying drug for rheumatoid arthritis

Development and Evaluation Committee
Record ID 32000008156
Authors' objectives:

To summarise the available evidence on the use of leflunomide for rheumatoid arthritis.

Authors' recommendations: Leflunomide is a promising new disease-modifying treatment for patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The evidence from three well-designed trials indicates that leflunomide is superior to placebo for the reduction of RA symptoms, but there is no randomised controlled trial evidence that leflunomide is more efficacious than either sulphasalazine or methotrexate. It is expected that patients will try existing disease-modifying treatments before leflunomide but the place of leflunomide in relation to these is still to be established. The costs of leflunomide are particularly sensitive to the frequency of monitoring of side effects and this may decrease with time. There are insufficient data to model the cost-utility of leflunomide in terms of cost per QALY. There is also a lack of information relating to the use of leflunomide in combination with existing disease-modifying drugs. The Committee recommends that trials should be conducted addressing the long-term safety profile and effectiveness of leflunomide in relation to existing disease-modifying drugs.
Authors' methods: Overview
Project Status: Completed
URL for project: http://www.wihrd.soton.ac.uk
Year Published: 1999
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid
Organisation Name: Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development
Contact Address: Pauline King. Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development, Boldrewood Medical School, Bassett Crescent East, Highfield, Southampton. SO16 7PX Tel. +44 1703 595661 Fax +44 1703 595662
Copyright: Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development (WIHRD)
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