• OAFI, together with the Medical and Scientific Societies, proposes to the health authorities a NEW ASSISTANCE MODEL IN THE MANAGEMENT of the disease that puts the PATIENT in the center: ARTRO 360.


  •  Patients, represented by OAFI, lead this new model that brings together all those involved in the disease, to demand at all levels that the quality of life of patients be improved and osteoarticular research to obtain new treatments.


  •  Osteoarthritis (OA), a global epidemic of a serious illness


The OAFI Foundation, together with the SECA, (Spanish Society for Quality Care), SETRADE (Spanish Society of Sports Traumatology), SEMERGEN (Spanish Society of Primary Care Doctor), SER (Spanish Society of Rheumatology), SEFAC (Spanish Society of Family and Community Pharmacy), SEMG (Spanish Society of General and Family Doctors), semFYC (Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine), University of Barcelona – Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences , among others, proposes to the health authorities to develop and implement a management model for osteoarthritis that allows early diagnosis, preventive and rehabilitative intervention, the empowerment of patients and family, continuity of care, the correct therapeutic compliance, the efficient use of resources and the effectiveness in results of this assistance process.

The collective, more than 35,000 doctors, plus 5,000 pharmacists and nurses, who sign the new model proposes to act at three levels: 1. Population, 2. Patients, 3. Health Services. Artro360 is open to those medical and scientific societies and social entities that share the principles of the new model.

Osteoarthritis (OA), a global epidemic of a serious illness. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease which affects cartilage, bone and soft tissues of the joint. Globally, it is estimated that 300 million people suffer from it corresponding to 7 million patients in Spain. In addition, this pathology will become the fourth cause of disability by 2020 due to population aging.

The number of people affected has increased in the last 30 years. According to the President of OAFI, Dr. Josep Vergés, “the impact of osteoarthritis is growing at an alarming rate, the number of patients has doubled in the past 30 years. We are assisting to a tsunami since risk factors are more and more present. They include the aging of the population, obesity and the practice of not appropriate sports. Also, fashion sports such as running or soccer, which are healthy, must be accompanied by a prior preparation to avoids the cartilage lesions. There are also concerns about the impact of the disease on patients who are not aware of their pathological condition because they have no pain; asymptomatic patients could, indeed, reach a 30% of the total population”.

The economic impact of the disease. The osteoarthritis creates an expense to the administration of 4.738 billion euros annually, this is 0.5% of the national GDP in Spain. Most of the budget goes to medical costs, such as the waiting time of the visit of specialists, hospital admissions or medicines. In addition, rheumatic diseases constitute the first cause of permanent disability and the third of temporary incapacity for work. Despite the enormous effort made by the health administration, about 55% of patients are dissatisfied of the treatments received.



SUMMARY Statements Affiliated entities (in order of intervention):

  •  Dr Josep Vergés, president of the OAFI Foundation: “The reality is that the perception of quality of care of osteoarthritis is not satisfactory due to late diagnoses, inequity in the national health system, lack of therapeutic compliance and poor coordination across levels of care, among others. We must improve the current model since the number of patients has doubled in recent years. We need to develop a correct approach through education, prevention and non-pharmacological measures. Through this new model we have the support of all the signing organizations to develop and implement it with the Ministry of Health and the different autonomous communities, but what makes it really relevant is that we, the patients, are the ones who lead this new model and fight for improving our quality of life. “


  • Amalia Lafuente, Professor of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Barcelona: “I adhere to Artro360, on a personal basis, but also absolutely in its three levels of performance. It is very important to train the health personnel and the patient of the possible interaction of the medication since the patient with osteoarthritis is often polymedicated “


  • Jose Polo, Vice President SEMERGEN: “As primary care physicians, we consider osteoarthritis as a serious health problem, where the patient is fragile due to comorbidities and polymedication. We need to fight for equity in the public health system, raise awareness among health professionals and patients to prevent and delay as much as possible the appearance of osteoarthritis by changing lifestyles.


  • José Vicente Moreno, honorary president SER: “Osteoarthritis is the most common disease in the specialty of rheumatology. The aging of the population, the bad habits and the inadequate sports practice lead to the onset of osteoarthritis for make many people, and many of them can experience a lot of pain and dependency. There is the perverse idea that osteoarthritis has no cure and is of older people. We must break this dynamic, and the OAFI can be the agglutinant that drives a large network of patients who demand at all levels, school, social, political, the development of new drugs and the improvement of the quality of life.”


  • Jordi Ardèvol, president of the SETRADE Scientific Committee: “Physical activity has a direct effect in preventing joint damage, since depending on its prescription, it can have positive or negative effects. Childhood, growth, old people, … everyone can perform a range of physical activity according to their locomotor system. We are fully involved in this new model of osteoarthritis management. “


  • Antonio Fernandez-Pro Ledesma, SEMG president: ” As physicians who assist the osteoarthritis patient, we live the failure of the current model of care. The patient with osteoarthritis is a special patient because he is not considered a serious patient, and the health system is design to solve cute episodes of care. The SEMG signs the agreement because this pathology has its own entity and all those involved need to work together to improve the treatment, we are giving to patients. “


  • Jesús Gómez, president of SEFAC: “We adhere to ARTRO360 by: dispensation; because we need to be able to inform the patient of how, how much, why and when, pharmacological indication, for possible interactions, and for follow- up, because we must add quality of life to the years. If we promote prevention, education and we support the patient, we will achieve efficiency, impact on health and economic savings. “


  • Manel Santiñà, president of SECA: “We sign the document because it is a model seeking to improve the quality of care for people suffering from osteoarthritis, characterized by a key factor, the involvement of the patient. There is the will to implement this model, making a better use of resources, because soon there will be no more resources. “


  • Núria Fabrellas, Coordinator of Nursing Teaching Unit, Campus Clínic, University of Barcelona: “Osteoarthritis is the most frequent and most frequently consulted disease in primary care. Nursing has a relevant role in health education, not only transmitting information but also providing motivation and support that can help the patient to change lifestyle and improve his/her knowledge of the disease, patient involvement is essential.”


  • Salvador Tranche, president semFYC: “The diseases of the locomotor system and connective tissue constitute about the 10% of the total number of consultations attended by the primary care physician. Of those almost half are related to osteoarthritis, it has been estimated that one out of seven medical consultation are because of this disease. Although the cure is not within our scientific reach at the moment, there are remedies for pain relief and for the improvement of the functional capacity. What is needed is integration of care that allows patient education, self-care and shared care and monitoring of their evolution.