Skip to main content

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme criteria for the use of tumour necrosis factor-α inhibitors in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis in Australia: are they evidence based?

Buy Article:

$48.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Abstract Background:

In 2004, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listed infliximab as a subsidised treatment for ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Eligibility to receive this treatment for AS involved fulfilling several criteria. Aim:

To examine the medical literature concerning response to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitors in AS and compare with the PBS criteria for these agents. Methods:

Review of published studies and analysis of the PBS criteria for the prescription of TNF inhibitors for the treatment of AS to assess whether the published criteria are evidence based. Results:

The published findings on the prediction of response to TNF inhibitors in the treatment of AS suggest that age, duration of disease, disease activity, functional status at the time of commencement of TNF inhibitors and, possibly, level of acute phase reactants predict the outcome of treatment with TNF inhibitors in AS. The PBS criteria do not reflect the published findings on predictors of response to TNF inhibitors. Conclusion:

The current PBS criteria that need to be fulfilled for patients to receive subsidised treatment with TNF inhibitors for AS are not evidence based and will lead to the selection of patients with established disease while excluding patients with early disease.

Keywords: Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; ankylosing spondylitis; tumor necrosis factor blockers

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Rheumatology Unit, Flinders Medical Centre and

Publication date: February 1, 2006


Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more