On Thursday 11 June, I attended, as part of the EULAR conference in Copenhagen – Europe’s largest conference on Rheumatology – the session “Structure modification in osteoarthritis: Time to update the guidelines”. What became really apparent was that rheumatologists from Europe and North-America are seriously concerned about the exponentially increasing prevalence and incidence of osteoarthritis (OA), which of course goes hand in hand with age progression and a rise in obesity, an epidemic that almost all industrialised countries are faced with.
OA is painful and highly disabling: it prevents patients from performing their daily activities such as walking, cooking and taking care of themselves. So far, treatment mainly consists of fighting the symptoms, i.e. relieving pain and suffering by taking analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) until a patient can no longer cope and opts for a total joint replacement.
New compounds are now being studied in randomised clinical trials aiming at repairing the damaged cartilage, delaying disease progression, and either postponing or avoiding total joint replacement. Evidence shown at the EULAR conference is rather promising and I think it could represent an important medical advancement for millions of patients”.
– Prof. Rosanna Tarricone, Director Master of International Health Care Management, Economics and Policy