Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) represents a lucrative market, particularly because of the entrenched positioning of biologics in the treatment algorithm. A number of RA biologics have been marketed in China and South Korea, which results in a high barrier of access for novel agents entering the market. The competition will become increasingly fierce given the dominance of current tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitors and anticipated market entries of additional lower cost biosimilars. In this Access & Reimbursement module, we assesses the dynamics that affect uptake of biologics for RA and examine the market access challenges that novel JAK inhibitors, biologics and biosimilars will face in the next two to three years.

Questions Answered in This Report:

  • Healthcare coverage available in China and South Korea for key RA therapies, and how it varies between countries.
  • Prescribing patterns of RA biologics in China and South Korea. The influence of reimbursement status on drug prescribing.
  • The current drivers and barriers to prescribing RA biologics in each country, and the main cost-related/clinical constraints to the uptake of these costly agents.
  • The impact of government P&R policies in China and South Korea on the uptake and reimbursement of RA biologics.
  • The impact of launches of biosimilar versions of key biologics on prescribing and reimbursement.
  • Payer expectations for emerging RA agents. The opportunities and challenges emerging therapies are likely to face in the future.
  • How rheumatologists expect to prescribe biosimilars and emerging agents and their likely impact on current brands over the next three years.
  • The role head-to-head and pharmacoeconomic outcomes will play in differentiating the coverage and uptake of emerging RA therapies versus currently available options.


Decision Resources Group’s Access & Reimbursement module in Rheumatoid Arthritis in China and South Korea explores the prescribing patterns of current RA therapies, the potential impact of the anticipated arrival of novel biologics and biosimilars, and key national and regional market access factors that will shape the use of biologics in both China and South Korea over the next two to three years.

Markets covered: China and South Korea.

Primary research:

  • 101 rheumatologists.
  • 6 payers.
  • China:
    • Expert for new drug evaluation at CFDA, Beijing.
    • Panel member for PRDL update, Shanghai.
    • Panel member for PRDL update, Jiangsu.
  • South Korea:
    • Advisor to HIRA.
    • Director, HIRA.
    • Manager, HIRA.

Table of contents

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis - Access & Reimbursement - Detailed, Expanded Analysis (China/South Korea)

Author(s): Michael Yeung, MSc; Michelle Qian Zhou, MBBS, PhD

Based in DRG’s Hong Kong office, Michael analyses the evolving market access landscape in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, The Philippines, and Taiwan. Michael is also responsible for market research and sales forecast in China among key therapeutic areas including diabetes.

Michael previously worked as a health economics and outcome research consultant in Tokyo. Michael completed his Master degree in International Health Policy at London School of Economics and has a degree in Biochemistry from Imperial College London.

Michelle Zhou is a senior analyst at Decision Resources Group Hong Kong office. She is specialized in China research across multiple disease areas, working on multiple products, including Access & Reimbursement, and ChinaRx.

Prior to joining DRG, Dr. Zhou worked as a Scientist at New A Innovation Limited in Hong Kong where she managed preclinical studies in both mainland China and Hong Kong investigating new treatments for cancer and hemorrhagic shock. Dr. Zhou has a medical degree from Zhejiang University in China and a Ph.D. in clinical oncology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where she was involved in the investigation of novel therapeutics on signaling pathways in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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