Osteoarthritis in this country has really reached a crisis. We have 27 million Americans. And that number is going to increase logarithmically over the next two decades. I think it’s an economic necessity, and it’s also a personal necessity. People in this country are suffering from pain. We must address the burden of this disease.
So on February 2010, the Arthritis Association and the CDC launched the National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis. I see this conference, the OA Action Alliance, as the next step so that people can actually begin to embrace and implement, and bring alive this public health plan.
At the moment we know there are 27 million people with osteoarthritis. Many of those people really aren’t aware that there are things that they can do to limit the progression of this disease and reduce the risk that it will actually begin to interfere with their lives. I think one of the most important outcomes of this conference is to bring together stakeholders who are really experts in those areas so that we can help people understand that there are things that they can do to prevent this serious disease from interfering with their life.