THOUSANDS OF arthritis sufferers in Scotland have been asked to take part in drugs trials that could improve the lives of millions with the disease. The three-year trial, which will involve 400 GP practices and 16,000 patients, has been given £24 million by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to work out which painkillers offer the best relief with the fewest side-effects.
Arthritis is a common condition that affects an estimated 8 million people in the UK. There are about 200 forms of arthritis affecting young and old alike and the symptoms can affect many parts of the body. Most people with arthritis find that being armed with information helps them make positive changes to their lives.
Currently, chronic sufferers are forced to take a toxic cocktail of drugs which have a range of health implications, including increasing the risk of heart disease in older people by 70%.
The kind of arthritis , its severity and peoples own wishes will all influence what treatment is provided.
Arthritis sufferers have cautiously welcomed the news, in the knowledge that a cure is not yet in sight. The tests will rely on Scotland's world-leading health statistics system, which detected a 17% drop in admission for heart problems after the smoking ban came into force.