Anti-tumour necrosis factor-α treatment for perianal Crohn's disease in Australia

Daniel Burger, Ian Lawrance, Peter Bampton, Ruth Prosser, Anthony Croft, Kristen Gilshenan, Graham Radford-Smith, Timothy Florin

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    Objective: To examine the prevalence of perianal Crohn's disease (PCD) and the eligibility of PCD patients to access anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFα) treatment under current Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) guidelines. Design, setting and participants: A retrospective study of patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and PCD attending four large adult inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) centres in Australia between January 2004 and May 2008. Patients for whom anti-TNFα therapy was clinically indicated were assessed to determine whether they satisfied PBS criteria for subsidised medication. Main outcome measures: Prevalence of CD and PCD in patients attending different IBD centres; eligibility of PCD patients for PBS-subsidised anti-TNFα medication. Results: Data were available on 3589 patients, representing about 6% of all patients with IBD in Australia. Of the 1815 patients with CD, 310 (17%) had PCD. Anti-TNFα therapy was deemed clinically indicated for 166 patients with PCD (54%), of whom 49 (30%) did not qualify for PBS-funded therapy. Conclusion: Thirty per cent of patients with clinically significant PCD currently do not have access to PBS-subsidised optimal medical treatment. We believe that PBS criteria should be extended to include this subgroup of IBD patients.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)375-377
    Number of pages3
    JournalMedical Journal of Australia
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2010


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