Socioeconomic Inequality in the Use of Rituximab Therapy Among Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients in Chinese Public Hospitals
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Background. Rituximab is a patient-paid effective monoclonal-antibody drug for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Little is known in China, a country with unequal distribution of wealth and medical insurance systems, about the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on selecting rituximab therapy in NHL patients. Methods. A total of 328 NHL inpatients in 2 public hospitals in Hangzhou were recruited and divided into 2 equal groups: with rituximab therapy and with no rituximab therapy group. Results. Selection and frequency of rituximab therapy increased with duration of education and in urban citizens (P < .01). Officers and businessmen were more likely to use rituximab therapy compared with farmers (P < .01). Patients covered by Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance were more likely to select rituximab therapy than those insured with Urban-Rural Residents Basic Medical Insurance (P < .01). Conclusion. There was an inequality in provision of rituximab therapy among Chinese NHL patients, and this was associated with differences in SES status. Effective measures are suggested to ameliorate the inequality issue.
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