Thursday, 6 February 2014

Calculating the cost of arthritis

According to research published by Professor Rachelle Buchbinder of the DEPM and the Cabrini Institute the financial burden of arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions in Australia is $55.1 billion annually. Despite this high cost, only $4 million per year is spent clinical trials.

This deficit is all the more alarming because of the 6.1 million Australians affected by arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions (26.9% of the Australian population).
The study which was funded by Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria (A&OV), The scope, funding and publication of musculoskeletal clinical trials performed in Australia (2009 - 2013) and published in the Medical Journal of Australia, found that in spite of the rising cost of arthritis, ($55.1 billion in 2012), only $4 million was spent on clinical trials that year.
This shortfall in funding could have severe consequences as the average age of the Australian population continues to increase, as the cost to the economy is predicted to rise alongside the aging population.
“Timely research that addresses important questions relevant to consumers, clinicians and policymakers and reduces the sizeable delays in translating evidence into practice is critical for reducing the burden associated with these conditions,” Professor Buchbinder said.

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