General Manager UK & Ireland, Gilead
For hundreds of thousands of people across the UK, rheumatoid arthritis remains a debilitating condition. More needs to be done and better understanding is a vital part of this.
Affecting over 400,000 people across the UK, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, auto immune condition that can cause swelling, stiffness, chronic pain and fatigue. These are often life-changing symptoms that result in people having to give up work, limit social arrangements and frequently impact on mental wellbeing.
Hilary Hutton-Squire, General Manager UK & Ireland at the pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences, describes the symptoms as often “invisible”, and says that “despite decades of progress in treating this disease, many still live with frequent and painful symptoms. This condition is far from where we want it to be and much more still needs to be done.”
“RA is far from just joint damage. This is a condition that can affect many different aspects of a person’s physical and mental wellbeing, yet so often people think of it as just creaking joints caused by old age – and that couldn’t be further from the reality.”
Innovation in rheumatoid arthritis is still a priority
While progress has been made, there is still a long way to go in RA. “There is no single solution; but there is space for new ideas and new ways of thinking about how we solve the challenges people with RA face today. This applies to everything, not just medicines. We need to think about what we can do as a society as well.”
And important research is happening. Recently, Gilead entered into a 10-year partnership with fellow pharma company, Galapagos.
“This is a really exciting partnership that unites Gilead’s heritage in shaping lifechanging progress in serious diseases with a Galapagos R&D programme, which has enormous potential.”
Partnering with the community to empower positive change
While scientific research is vital, there is also a realisation that it needs to go hand in hand with improved understanding of RA.
“When the patient support community and companies, like Gilead, come together to raise awareness, the results can be really powerful. Some of the findings about what people with RA face are truly shocking. These stories need to be heard – it is these kinds of experiences that show why understanding and progress are so important.”
When the patient support community and companies, like Gilead, come together to raise awareness, the results can be really powerful.
As part of Gilead’s work in this area, it has launched a new campaign, ‘We R.A. Priority’.
Organised by Gilead Sciences, with support from the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS), it provides a platform for people to share experiences – highlighting, if RA is made a priority, that the results can be lifechanging.
“Our aim with this campaign is to show the real face of RA and be a positive force in helping shape positive change for all those affected.”
To learn more about RA and understand how you can better support the RA community, visit www.weRApriority.co.uk
UK-INF-2020-10-0007 | Date of preparation: October 2020