This is week three of ‘things you might not know about arthritis‘, which means there are only 40 weeks left until the Lausanne marathon! In turn, this means that I am on the verge of complete panic about my ability to train well, owing to an annoying foot thingy that I’ll tell you about another day. For today, I wanted to tell you – in case you didn’t know – that arthritis ain’t cheap.
Earlier this week, I read an unnerving news story about a study which says that one in 10 Canadians have trouble paying for their prescription medication. The study points out that when patients are unable to afford their medications, it can lead to higher costs down the road for the health care system. That was a stark reminder for me about the cost of arthritis, not just in terms of the health effects it has on those who have the disease (and their families), but of the economic cost to society.
In late 2011, the Arthritis Alliance of Canada released a study which reported that arthritis is the most common cause of disability in Canada, and has a significant impact on costs to both the public health care system and the economy. The study estimates that osteoarthritis (OA) – the most prevalent form of the disease – and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) cost the Canadian economy $33 billion through direct healthcare expenses and indirect lost productivity and taxes. CBC did this report when the report was released last year, if you’re not inclined to read the whole study.
Perhaps more importantly, the study also clearly states that “Without a doubt, arthritis’ greatest burden is on the personal lives of those living with the condition and on the lives of their families.” There’s no doubt in my mind that this is true, and it reminds me how important it is to share information, so we can try to change that. Thanks for reading 🙂