Original Research| Volume 43, ISSUE 9, P1547-1557, September 2021

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Two Sides of the Same Coin? A Dual Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis of Novel Treatments Against Rheumatoid Arthritis in Physicians and Patients


      • RA treatments differ in terms of "value", as perceived by patients and physicians
      • Discrepancies between patients’ and physicians’ perspectives on RA treatment options have been explored by various methodologies; this is the first study using dual MCDA methodology (including physicians and patients), regarding the value of RA treatments
      • Participating physicians placed important value on adverse events, efficacy and route of treatment administration
      • Participating patients considered efficacy, non-occurrence of adverse events, and "drug survival" as the most valuable aspects



      Available treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) differ in important aspects. In this sense, each RA treatment option is accompanied by a spectrum of characteristics that collectively constitute its comprehensive “value,” as viewed from the physician's or the patient's perspective. The objective of this study was to perform a multiple criteria decision analysis of different RA treatments from the perspective of physicians and patients and to outline the respective aspects of value for each treatment


      A literature review was performed for constructing a set of criteria (N = 8) for the multiple criteria decision analysis. Workshops for the elicitation of preferences occurred separately for physicians and patients. A performance matrix was populated via 2 network meta-analyses plus converged clinical opinion. Criteria were hierarchically classified by application of pairwise comparisons, and criteria weights were attributed by point allocation through convergence of opinions. Performances in both panels were scored by using a 100-point scale. A linear additive value function was used for the calculation of total value estimates.


      Both panels provided their consensus. The hierarchical classification of attributes from the physician perspective placed the highest values on the criteria of severe adverse events, clinical efficacy, route of administration, and cost per year for the third-party payer. From the patient perspective, the highest ranking criteria were clinical efficacy, severe adverse events, percentage of patients remaining with the same targeted immune modulator for 1 year (“drug survival”), and cost per year for the third-party payer.


      In an era of multiple options and varying preferences, RA treatments must be evaluated by taking into consideration patients’ preferences as well, as to cover the full spectrum of value elements rather than simply clinical outcomes. The results of this analysis show that physicians and patients share similarities but also marked differences in terms of the aspects of treatment that they perceive as more valuable.

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