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Asian Countries Cannot Afford To Ignore the Cost of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Date:9/14/2009

SINGAPORE, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- A new initiative launched today by the Asia-Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR) aims to raise awareness of the need to diagnose and treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) early in order to relieve the enormous social, economic and personal burden the disease places on patients, communities and governments across the region.

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The Every Day Counts campaign has been developed to highlight the fact that for every day a patient with RA remains undiagnosed and untreated he pays an unnecessary personal price. At the same time, society and communities face a significant financial cost through increased unemployment and welfare payments, and greater healthcare spending on extended hospital stays.

"In times of economic uncertainty and ageing populations countries simply can't afford to have people with chronic illnesses needlessly out of work and draining valuable government budgets," said Dr. Ho-Youn Kim, President, Asia- Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR). "Treatments do exist that have been proven to reduce the burden of this disease and widespread adoption of early diagnosis and treatment regimens could help to significantly reduce the cost of this disease to both societies and individuals."

"Early effective treatment may not only postpone, slow, or even stop disease progression but also decrease costs by preserving productivity and reducing the need for surgery, hospital admissions and social service utilization," continued Dr. Kim. "We hope that this ini
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SOURCE Asia-Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology
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