Invest in Arthritis Research
A person diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) 15 years ago faced a future of intolerable pain and permanent joint damage with joint deformities and loss of function. Biomedical research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Arthritis Foundation has produced a revolutionary class of biologic therapies. Although these advances have literally changed the lives of Americans living with RA, there is still not a cure for the disease.
An increased public investment in biomedical research holds the real promise of improving the lives of millions of Americans, and maybe the reality of a cure. This investment also will reduce the burden of arthritis on the U.S. economy with less missed work days, disability payments, and expensive surgical interventions. Here are few examples of the cost of arthritis.
- Arthritis costs the U.S. economy $128 billion – $81 billion in direct medical costs and $47 billion in indirect productivity costs – equivalent to 1.2% of the 2003 U.S. gross domestic product.
- Less than 50 percent of working age adults with rheumatoid arthritis are still employed 10 years after disease onset.
- Nearly a third of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis experience work limitations.
- 750,000 hospitalizations and 36 million ambulatory care visits annually are due to arthritis.