Arthritis Alliance of Canada Launches Framework for Improved Policies
CALGARY, Sept. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - A nationwide coalition of more than
thirty groups including patients, health care providers, researchers,
care organizations and industry partners today called upon Canadians to
designate improved arthritis prevention and care as an urgent national
priority. The Arthritis Alliance of Canada (AAC) outlined a plan to
address this critical issue facing the country today in Joint Action on Arthritis: A Framework to Improve Arthritis Prevention
and Care in Canada, a plan that prioritizes areas of focus that will have the greatest impact on
those living with arthritis.
"One in eight Canadians currently lives with some form of arthritis and,
within our lifetimes, that number will rise to one in four," said Dr.
Dianne Mosher, President, Arthritis Alliance of Canada. "We need to
make improved prevention and care of arthritis an urgent national
priority on behalf of the 4.6 million Canadians living with this
chronic disease. Our new Framework speaks with the loud voice of nearly
three dozen experts and involved groups nationwide, offering a clear
vision that will deliver results, improve clinical practice, and foster
The AAC Framework advocates a three-pillar approach to deliver better
outcomes for those living with arthritis and reduce the burden of the
disease on Canada's healthcare system and the economy:
Advancing knowledge and awareness - to dispel the myth that nothing can be done to curb arthritis, to
improve understanding of the disease, and to enhance and focus research
funding on improving prevention and the delivery of arthritis care to
Canadians - all the while expanding professional education for
Improving prevention and care - to create the conditions for earlier detection, diagnosis and
intervention, to improve access and delivery of care and to encourage
understanding of risk factors for arthritis.
Supporting ongoing stakeholder collaboration - to bring together and better focus the efforts and activities of the
"By establishing improved arthritis prevention and care as an urgent
national priority, we can lessen the toll it takes today and tomorrow
on the lives of Canadians in every corner and community in our
country," said Janet Yale, President and CEO of The Arthritis Society,
a member organization of the Arthritis Alliance of Canada. "There is an
important and necessary role for all to play in this effort - from
patients to health care providers, from government to industry. Our
Framework sets the goals and creates the conditions for a great
national undertaking that can succeed."
Today's launch builds on last year's release of The Impact of Arthritis in Canada: Today and Over the Next 30 Years report. The Impact Report revealed that arthritis costs the Canadian economy $33.2 billion a year
both directly and indirectly in health care costs and lost
productivity. Today's launch brings together patients, health care
professionals, industry partners, researchers, and institutions, who
will work together with government to implement the Framework's initial
priorities and outlined actions.
"The Impact Report highlighted the urgency for addressing the increasing burden arthritis
plays and will play in years to come. If we do nothing, arthritis will
cripple our economy and our healthcare system," said Dr. Claire
Bombardier, Co-Scientific Director, Canadian Arthritis Network, and a
member of the AAC Executive Committee. "The Framework gives all of us a
chance to put a targeted, measurable plan in place that gives us the
best shot at alleviating the burden of the disease over the long term."
Arthritis in Canada
Arthritis affects 4.6 million Canadians, and within a generation, more
than 10 million (one in four) Canadians are expected to have either
osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Arthritis can strike
anyone at any time, regardless of age, physical condition or ethnic
background and among all causes of disability in Canada, arthritis
ranks first among women and second among men.1
There are currently more than 4.4 million people living with OA, and
more than 272,000 people living with RA in Canada.
There will be a new diagnosis of OA every 60 seconds, resulting in
almost 30 per cent of the employed labour force having difficulty
working due to OA.
Approximately 1 in 136 workers is suffering from RA. Within a
generation, this will increase to 1 in 68 workers.
About the Arthritis Alliance of Canada
The Arthritis Alliance of Canada was formed in 2002 as the Alliance for
the Canadian Arthritis Program (ACAP). Its goal is to improve the lives
of Canadians living with arthritis by working toward improved access to
care and treatment, broadened education of the arthritis community and
public and health policy makers, as well as increased arthritis
The Alliance includes more than 34 member organizations from across
Canada, bringing together arthritis consumers and consumer
organizations, arthritis health care professionals, researchers,
funding agencies, governments, voluntary sector agencies and industry.
While each member organization continues its own work, the Alliance
provides a central focus for national arthritis-related initiatives.
To download a copy of the Framework, please visit www.arthritisalliance.ca.
The Impact of Arthritis in Canada
. Today and over the Next 30 Years. http://www.arthritisalliance.ca/docs/20111022_2200_impact_of_arthritis.pdf
SOURCE: Arthritis Alliance of Canada
For further information:
For more information about the Joint Action on Arthritis: A Framework to Improve Arthritis Prevention and Care in Canada, the Arthritis Alliance of Canada, or to schedule interviews with members of the Alliance, please contact: