A survey conducted by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. found that approximately 80 percent of the 1,000 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients surveyed experienced life-altering levels of pain, a Genzyme release said.
The release from Sanofi Genzyme, a Sanofi company, also said the "Honestly RA" survey indicated nearly 64 percent of those surveyed said that even after treatment the pain affects their ability to participate in daily activities and celebrations.
The survey also found that 58 percent of RA patients delay doctor visits if their treatments stop working; 41 percent wait to see if the symptoms will go away; and 37 percent don't want to change medications because they think that another, more effective medication could have more side effects, the release said.
In addition, 90 percent of respondents noted the lack of empathy from others, saying RA is not easily discerned and others do not understand the suffering that RA patients endure.
"My pain affects almost every area of my life – work, travel, spending time with friends and family – and it can be frustrating when someone doesn't understand the impact," RA patient, blogger and advocate Angela Lundberg said in the release. "I know it can be difficult, but I encourage everyone living with RA to not be afraid of speaking up, initiating a conversation with your doctor about treatment and celebrating all of your little achievements – no matter how small they seem, or how hard they are for someone else to understand."