European Parliament Interestgroup 11 October 2011

The 7th Meeting of the European Parliament Interest Group on Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs) took place on 11 October 2011 under the heading “The social and economic burden of RMDs in Europe – first facts and findings from the EUMUSC.NET project”. Loreto Carmona Ortell presented the latest data collected by EUMUSC.NET. Read the report from this meeting.


Standing Committee for Epidemiology Meeting EULAR 26th May 2011

The Standing Committee for Epidemiology has a number of goals including contributing towards epidemiological and health services research, training rheumatologist’s in member countries in epidemiological methods and undertaking collaborative studies between countries both in developing methodologies for collaborative studies and in collecting data which can address key issues of concern. During their meeting Loreto Carmona (Chair) gave an update of the project to the committee. Several key milestones where highlighted including the completion of the report on 'Musculoskeletal Health Status in Europe' and the availability of its deliverables on the website, the inclusion of indicators in the European Health Interview Survey, and the publication of the Standards of Care in the upcoming months. Member states where data is lacking was also highlighted and members were asked to help with finding contacts and sources.


The Hungarian EU Presidency Conference: Burden of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases: Challenges in Work Capacity and Prevention of Disability. Budapest 20-21st April 2011.

The project was widely disseminated at the Hungarian EU Presidency conference in Budapest where Professors Dugados, Emery, Smolen and Associated Professor Petersson conducted presentations and discussions. Health inequality was a main focus, as was supporting policy development for equal access to health care, including quality health and rehabilitation services designed for people with disabilities. Reducing the risk of disabilities developing during working life and the improvement of reintegration of workers with disabilities was also a key focus.

13th EULAR Autumn Conference for PARE 5-7 November 2010.

The 13th EULAR Autum Conference for PARE saw a very successful workshop centred around the project. Together with Rolf Greiff from the Swedish Patient League, the project was introduced to 20 enthusiastic delegates who have offered their help to stay involved in the project and willing to contribute whenever needed. An important finding from the meeting was that patients wanted to receive more information about ‘where to find data’. This is an important finding for the EUMUSC.Net project as one of our main aims is to enable patient organisations to have access (through our website) to up to date relevant data on burden, standards of care, and health care quality indicators. 

European Parliament Interest Group on Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases 6th August 2010. attended the 3rd meeting of the European Parliament Interest Group on Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseases which was held on the 6th of August 2010 at the parliament. This EP Interest group aims to shape the European Parliament input for future legislation on MSC’s and to support continuous awareness-raising in society. The meeting brought together representatives from the European Commission, experts, academics and association to discuss musculoskeletal diseases and their status as a chronic disease. Professor Anthony Woolf was able to present the project highlighting its first findings and challenges. The project will be presented again at the next Interest Group (11th October 2011) and will focus on the data found regarding the costs of MSC’s. 




“As a rheumatologist with a background in Epidemiology, I have always been very much interested in making rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases visible and comprehensible. There are many misunderstandings and misconceptions about the diseases we treat and study. And we rheumatologist are culprit for it. Just look at the name of our specialty: who understands what is our field of specialisation! The goal of all my work is to make things look simpler to the public, to other professionals, and to policy makers, so that they also have the tools to improve their lives. MSC are so common, so disabling, and so fairly easy to manage with a little advice. It is a pity to see how so many people manage them so wrong.”

Loreto Carmona Ortells