The American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation (REF) announced it has raised nearly $28 million, and funded $24 million, in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research through its “Within Our Reach: Finding a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis” campaign.
The social and economic burden as a result of RA is considerable, with estimated costs of annual medical care and lost earnings at $128 billion. RA is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, affecting more than 1.3 million Americans.
“The REF noticed that RA was not receiving the kind of funding needed to properly fill the gap and launched Within Our Reach to address this,” E. William St.Clair, REF president, stated in a press release. “The Foundation is 53 months into the campaign and has funded the research of 54 investigative teams working on the innovative RA research that will move the treatment of this disease forward.”
The American College of Rheumatology and several industry leaders took early notice of the importance of this type of research initiative and supported the campaign at the Pinnacle Level with donations of $5 million.
“The ACR’s mission is to advance rheumatology, and supporting campaigns like Within Our Reach falls in line with this mission. It is a ground-breaking effort to stimulate novel ideas in RA research that may result in improved outcomes for our patients. Hopefully this effort will result in an overall increase in RA research funding for investigators,” Stanley B. Cohen, MD, ACR president, stated.