Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), namely Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are burdened by high medical costs which are mostly dependent on hospital inpatient treatment. New biologic therapies, which target specific cytokines in the inflammatory cascade leading to the intestinal lesions, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, have revolutionized the management of IBD by offering a therapeutic chance to patients in whom conventional therapies failed. However, the relatively high costs of biologic drugs, together with their potential toxicity due to infections and malignancies, have led to debate regarding their indiscriminate use in IBD patients. The purpose of this review is to deal with the optimal use and cost-effectiveness of the two main monoclonal anti-TNF-α agents currently used in the management of IBD patients, i.e. the chimeric human/murine antibody infliximab and the fully human antibody adalimumab.
- Biological Therapy/economics
- Cost-Benefit Analysis
- Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/drug therapy