Idiopathic intestinal inflammation

Zuzana, 27 years old

  • I receive individualized biological treatment
  • I did not have to be hospitalized
  • I do not receive a disability pension
  • I work 
  • I live a full life without any major limitations

Patients with idiopathic intestinal inflammation now live as long as the healthy population.


More and more people in developed countries, and more and more young people, even infants, suffer from chronic intestinal inflammation, also known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). There were over 56,000 patients with IBD in the Czech Republic in 2018. Thanks to highly innovative medicinal products, the quality of life for these patients has significantly improved and mortality has considerably decreased.

Diseases known as idiopathic or non-specific intestinal inflammation include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The word idiopathic means that their cause is unknown. These are chronic inflammatory (autoimmune) diseases with many intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms. They occur in variously serious forms and can endanger patients’ lives or drastically aggravate the quality of their personal, social and professional lives.

Crohn's disease can affect almost the entire digestive tube, from the mouth to the very end of the colon. The main symptoms include abdominal pain and diarrhea with painful emptying. Ulcerative colitis affects the colon and rectum (the rectum is always affected), without any intercalated healthy segments. In the most severe cases, it can also affect the end of the small intestine. One of the most serious complications of IBD is the development of deep ulcers in the intestinal mucosa, which can lead (rarely) to the perforation of the intestine with all life-threatening consequences.

Patient mortality has diminished

There have been many different medicinal products and types of treatment, but none of them has been able to stabilize the disease in the long term. In the most severe cases, the affected part of the intestine was surgically removed. Biological treatment has made significant progress, enabling patients to lead a (nearly) normal life.

In recent years, a whole range of new molecules have been marketed that help patients with idiopathic intestinal inflammation to significantly reduce the symptoms of the disease while avoiding many adverse effects, even when used for a long time. Proper treatment improves the quality of patients’ lives and mitigates or gets rid of the symptoms of the disease,” says Mgr. Lucie Laštíková from the patient organization Pacienti IBD, z.s.

Modern biologicals in most cases keep patients in long-term remission and with no health problems. Since patients receive innovative biological therapy in specialized centers, these expensive, yet highly innovative, medicinal products are sometimes referred to as centric treatment or centric medicinal products.

Patient treatment is less costly

Although the number of patients diagnosed with IBD has steadily increased, innovative medicinal products have reduced both the number and length of hospitalizations. With the introduction of biosimilars ("imitations" of original biologics), the treatment of IBD becomes less costly and thus more accessible to more patients.

Only about 15% of IBD patients receive modern biological therapy in the Czech Republic, while in France and Germany it is almost 25%. Nevertheless, the availability of treatment in the Czech Republic has greatly increased. The number of treated patients is increasing more rapidly than the cost of their treatment. In addition, new generic drugs help to lower the unit cost of treatment,” says Mgr. Jakub Dvořáček, MHA, executive director of the Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry.

Thus, the treatment becomes cheaper while the quality of patients’ lives improves. But pharmaceutical companies are coming up with the next generation of medicinal products that can help patients with the most severe forms of IBD.



Every patient’s body responds to something else. It is up to his or her physician to correctly determine the best treatment. Biologicals have several advantages over previously prescribed medications that are currently still justified in the treatment of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. These advantages include fewer side effects, longer administration intervals, targeted treatment of the disease, etc.

A properly treated patient, whose disease is in remission, can live a normal life almost without any limitations. Patients feel better, have no pain, go to work, do sports.

The goal is to get patients to a state where they are practically without any symptoms and the disease seems to be inactive or only slightly active. Unfortunately, the efficacy of biologicals as well is often only temporary. Some patients develop resistance after several years and thus the efficiency of biologicals decreases. In such a case, it is necessary to replace them with another medication.

Mgr. Lucie Laštíková,
Pacienti IBD, z.s



Světový den IBD

Tiskový materiál vydaný u příležitosti Světového dne IBD 19. května 2020 naleznete ke stažení zde