Our Policy Priorities
Because ignoring the pain and disability of arthritis is unacceptable, the Arthritis Foundation is working to conquer this debilitating disease and make a positive impact on the lives of people with arthritis. Follow the links below to find more information on our advocacy priorities and sample letters you can send to your Members of Congress urging them to step forward and take action on these important issues. Download the one-page summary of our advocacy priorities.
Access to Care
- Priority: End Discrimination Against Specialty Tier Medications
- Priority: Increase Access to Pediatric Rheumatologists
Research & Prevention
- Priority: Fund Arthritis Research at the Department of Defense
- Priority: Support Arthritis Research at the National Institutes of Health
- Priority: Increase Funding of Arthritis Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control
- Priority: Build a strong Congressional Arthritis Caucus
- Priority: Make arthritis a national priority
This list in no way encompasses all of the areas for legislative action. That's why we welcome your ideas for enhancing the arthritis advocacy agenda. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
AF Board of Directors Position Statements
- Read the Arthritis Foundation position statement on Biosimilars passed on July 20, 2013.
- Read the Arthritis Foundation position statement on excessive cost sharing (specialty tiers) for high cost medication. The statement was passed on November 19, 2011.
Arthritis Foundation Appropriation Requests
Our 2012 Accomplishments
The Arthritis Foundation Public Policy and Advocacy team had many successes in 2012. Thanks to the many advocates that support the mission of the Arthritis Foundation, great strides were taken in furthering legislation and programs to help those with arthritis.
- Funding for vital arthritis programs was preserved for the National Institutes of Health with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). This funding will help researchers find new treatments and hopefully a cure for arthritis. NIAMS works on groundbreaking research initiatives that aim to vastly improve the quality of life for those with arthritis.
- The bicameral Congressional Arthritis Caucus grew to include over 70 members. The caucus, chaired by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and David B. McKinley (R-WV) seeks to raise awareness of arthritis in Congress and seek effective ways to address the issue.
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis were successfully included in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense. As a result, over $10 million in arthritis research has been funded over the past three years. Those serving in our armed forces are prone to arthritis due to stresses placed on joints during military training activities, increased rates of injury, and amount of gear they have to carry.
- In 2012, the Arthritis Foundation staff and advocates convinced the President Obama to include resources for a pediatric rheumatology student loan forgiveness program in his budget. If funded by Congress, this program will work to address the critical shortage of pediatric rheumatologists in the workforce. Nearly 300,000 children suffer with juvenile arthritis (JA) and there are less than 250 board certified practicing pediatric rheumatologists to care for them.
- The Arthritis Foundation successfully enabled a pathway to safe, affordable biosimilars at the Food and Drug Administration. Policies were presented to the FDA on the guidelines drug makers should follow to ensure safe biologic substitutes.
- With the help of dedicated advocates, the Arthritis Foundation took on Medicare’s Sustained Growth Rate and Therapy Caps. Approximately 20 percent of Medicare Part B beneficiaries who receive physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language pathology services exceed the cap each year.
- Funding was maintained for the Arthritis Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which aims to increase awareness for arthritis self-management activities and to decrease the overall burden of arthritis. Arthritis impacts 1 in 5 Americans and these programs help improve the quality of life and reduce disability, work, and activity limitations.
OA Agenda - A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis. Read more.
Osteoarthritis Action Alliance.
Learn more about them.
Latest State Prevalence Data Released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn How Many In Your State Live With Arthritis.
New Data Shows Arthritis Impact Worse Among Minorities. Read the Report Summary.
The Public Health Policy and Advocacy team is based in downtown Washington, DC. To contact the department, please see the below information:
Public Health Policy and Advocacy
1615 L St., NW, Suite 320
Washington, DC 20036