Coronavirus, Advocacy & Arthritis

Before the global pandemic, arthritis patients already often faced compromised immune systems, high out-of-pocket costs and difficulty accessing health care. To get a better idea of how we can better serve our community during these unprecedented times, the Arthritis Foundation surveyed nearly 1,000 advocates.  From medication shortages and cancelled doctor appointments, to financial struggles and concerns about what will happen as the world opens back up, our respondents gave us a glimpse of their collective challenges so we can advocate for a better tomorrow. 
Top three concerns for arthritis patients:
  1. Contracting the virus and/or infecting a loved one
  2. Accessing health care in person or through telehealth
  3. The economic impact of the pandemic on their ability to get the care they need
For more details about the results, ways to take action and information on how to solve some common challenges, keep scrolling.
Survey Results


have difficulty accessing medications.


fear going to the doctor and getting exposed.


have not used telehealth services.


have trouble affording health-related expences.

Medication Shortage

Once the federal government started discussing hydroxychloroquine (HCL) as a potential treatment for COVID-19, patients who take this medication to manage their arthritis began to face shortages. Many people who are accustomed to picking up a 90-day supply can only get a 14-day supply, forcing them to return to the pharmacy frequently – a hazard for people at high risk for COVID-19. Others have not been able to access their prescriptions at all and have had to ration pills. Shortages can have long-term health consequences.

Arthritis Medication Contingency Planning


Doctors Appointment

Arthritis patients are dealing with postponed and cancelled appointments with the specialists they rely on to manage their pain, in addition to fears around contracting COVID-19 at the doctor’s office. Gaps in visits can increase chronic pain and severely limit mobility.
Maintaining Routine Rheumatology Care During COVID-19 Outbreak


Many providers are switching to telehealth, which comes with its own challenges. The promise of telehealth is an empty one for patients without internet access or computers with cameras. For patients who are afraid to see their providers in person and who don’t have access to telehealth, the pandemic has disrupted their entire spectrum of care.
Need to See Your Doctor? Try Telemedicine.

Economic Impact

Economic anxiety came up in survey results again and again. Arthritis care can be incredibly expensive. Since most people get health insurance through their employer, a layoff could be life or death.
10 Tips for Managing Arthritis Care Costs

Stigma & Mental Health

The message that “only” people who are older and have comorbidities are at risk of dying from COVID-19 has come from all sides throughout the pandemic. These messages can strain mental health.
Emotional Self-Care During Tough Times
You can get involved with Arthritis Foundation Advocacy in a number of different ways. Check out the opportunities below!

Advocacy News & Letters

The Arthritis Foundation is committed to advocating for legislation that makes treating and researching arthritis easier. Learn about our advocacy efforts over the past years to ensure people with arthritis have access to the care they need.
Read Our Letters

Coronavirus Relief Legislation

In late April, we surveyed our Advocates to gain a better understanding of their experiences with arthritis during this pandemic. Based on this feedback, we are asking Congress to take positive steps for people with arthritis in the next round of coronavirus relief legislation.
Take Action

Live Yes! Story Bank

Are you having issues accessing your medications or the care you need due to the coronavirus pandemic? Please tell us about your experience so we can ensure we are taking action to advocate for what you and the almost 60 million other people with arthritis need.
Share Your Story
Connect With Us

Contact Our Helpline

If you are having trouble getting your medication or you are having trouble affording your care, please contact the Arthritis Foundation Help Line. Staffed by licensed, clinical social workers, our Helpline helps thousands of people like you.

Learn More
Stay in the Know. Live in the Yes.

Get involved with the arthritis community. Tell us a little about yourself and, based on your interests, you’ll receive emails packed with the latest information and resources to live your best life and connect with others.

I Want to Contribute
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  • Donate


    Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.

  • Volunteer


    Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

  • Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Take part to be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis.

  • Partner


    Proud Partners of the Arthritis Foundation make an annual commitment to directly support the Foundation’s mission.


Ways to Give

Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

Make a Donation

Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

Become a Member

Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20 and you'll receive access to helpful tools..... and more. 

Make a Honor or Memorial Gift

Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

Gift Planning

I want information on ways to remember the AF in my will, trust or other financial planning vehicles.


Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

Become a Volunteer

More About Volunteering


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

Get Started


Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.


Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000


Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.


Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.


Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.


Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.


Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.