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Osteoarthritis still remains an under diagnosed and under treated disease at all levels of healthcare”

27 Sep 2012

This chronic inflammatory disease affects seven million Spaniards and causes 35 per cent of all visits to primary care centers Family physicians play a key role in the early detection and treatment of the disease-family physicians are the healthcare professionals who can follow closely the evolution of their patients’ disease A panel of osteoarthritis experts attending the 34th SEMERGEN national congress held in Malaga praised the efficacy and security of chondroprotection drugs and recommended them as the treatment of choice for osteoarthritis.

Malaga, September 27, 2012. Osteoarthritis treatment was
one of the highlights in the 34th National Congress of the Spanish
Society of Primary Care Physicians (Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención
Primaria, SEMERGEN) that it is being held in Malaga. According to Dr. Sergio Giménez,
family physician and coordinator of the SEMERGEN’ musculoskeletal system
workgroup, the reason why is clear: “Osteoarthritis still remains an under
diagnosed and under treated disease at all levels of healthcare. Since almost
all OA patients are treated by primary care physicians, it is very important
that they keep up with the latest advances in osteoarthritis treatment,
especially in the field of new drugs”.

Within that context, Dr. Giménez highlighted the key
role of family physicians in the detection and treatment of that disease during
the OA symposium held today morning. “We [family physicians] have a more
direct knowledge of OA patients- we can follow directly the progression of their
disease. Our role is at least as crucial as that of rheumatologists, trauma
surgeons or rehabilitation experts”. To be more precise, OA is the cause of 35%
of all consults to primary care specialists.

Another of the symposium speakers was Dr. Maribel
, professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Malaga’s
Faculty of Medicine, who underlined the contradictions of current
osteoarthritis treatments. “Although more than half of OA patients are at risk
of suffering gastrointestinal or cardiovascular secondary effects, there is
still a therapeutic inertia, a “tradition” of prescribing paracetamol and
anti-inflammatory drugs, even though these drugs can only be used in the acute
stages of the disease-they cannot be administered on a regular basis because of
its secondary effects”.

This is why experts recommend “using chondroprotector drugs such as
chondroitin sulfate, which have been specifically developed for the treatment
of chronic OA and have demonstrated high security and efficacy profiles in a
number of clinical essays. These drugs reduce pain and improve patient
mobility, thus improving their quality of life.”

Finally, Dr. Josep Vergés, clinical
pharmacologist and medical and scientific director at Biobérica Farma,
discussed new challenges in osteoarthritis and presented Arthrosischip, a
saliva-based DNA test that will allow to identify patients with higher chancers
of suffering severe osteoarthritis. According to Dr. Vergés, “this tool could
be of great use to identify worst prognosis cases and to predict the risk of
prosthetic surgery in the long term”. This new test will be available early
next year. 

The osteoarthritis symposium was closed by a highly interesting debate-the
symposium speakers reached the conclusion that only healthcare professionals
should control administration of pharmacological therapy of OA, as they are the
only ones who see their patients on a regular, day-by-day basis.

For further information or arrange an interview,
please contact

Alba Soler

 Bioiberica Farma
Communications Manager

+34 682 040 776 or +34 93 490 49 08