The Dutch Society of Pulmonologists NVALT has published a position paper with the criteria for treatment of sarcoidosis patients with biological medicine
The paper, dated June 18, 2012, is endorsed by the Dutch Society of Immunologists. It contains a number of interesting details:
- The incidence of sarcoidosis in the Netherlands is estimated at 20 per 100,000 inhabitants and the prevalence at 50 per 100,000. The current number of sarcoidosis patients in the Netherlands is estimated at 7,000 to 8,000.
- Approximately 50% of these patients will require medicine therapy at some stage. 10-12.5% will (also) require treatment with biological medicine (anti-TFN-α).
- Patients qualifying for biological therapy usually have a rare manifestation of the disease: uveitis: 0.2 per 150.000 inhabitants, neurosarcoidosis: 0.1 per 150.000, autonomic dysfunction: 0.3 per 150.000, pulmonary issues: 0.3 per 150.000, other indications: 0.1 per 150.000.
In the position paper’s description of the clinical presentations of sarcoidosis small fiber neuropathy is added as a subcategory of under neurosarcoidosis and cardiac autonomic dysfunction is added to cardiac sarcoidosis.
I haven’t asked NVALT for a comment but I presume its paper serves to streamline the practice of prescribing biologicals to sarcoidosis patients across the Netherlands and to justify the cost of these therapies within the context of the Dutch health system.
Click here to download the NVALT position paper (in Dutch)