MAIDENHEAD, England, June 23 /PRNewswire/ --

- My Day for RA Launches Across Europe Today: A Novel 'Goal-Centred' Patient Programme

Recognising that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can cause deformity, disability and loss of independence without effective management - My Day for RA, a new educational programme, launches today to encourage people with RA to understand the impact that their condition can have on their lives now and in the future. My Day for RA asks men and women with RA across Europe to dedicate one day to learn more about their condition and to set goals in order to feel more confident and empowered. For resources on how to make the most of their dedicated day, people with RA can visit to access the My Day Action Planner, an individualised interactive questionnaire, created to help people with RA to develop a straightforward, personalised, action plan for the future.

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I urge people with RA not to accept the inevitability of the disease, but to take control of their future and to take action to best manage the condition, said Professor Robert Moots, Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. With the right care and support, disease progression can be controlled which may allow patients to continue living active lives and achieve their goals.

RA is a chronic and progressive disease that affects 2.9 million people across Europe. Although there are not always visible signs early on in the disease, people with RA experience pain and fatigue which can impact every aspect of their lives as the disease progresses. For men and women with RA, everyday activities that are often taken for granted such as getting up in the morning, going to work or caring for one's family can become arduous tasks. Being a progressive disease means that RA can cause permanent damage to the joints, which could result in deformity and loss of independence over time, as well as a decreased ability to work, potential surgery and higher medical costs. Studies have shown that early and aggressive treatment of RA may successfully stop disease progression, and enable people with RA to continue living a productive lifestyle.

Since the main symptoms of RA are pain and fatigue, many people with RA expend so much effort on day-to-day living that they rarely have time to think about the long-term implications of living with RA, said Maarten de Wit, former Vice President of PARE, representing organisations of people with arthritis in Europe, who has lived with arthritis for over 30 years. By dedicating a day now to learn more about the condition and setting goals, I hope that people with RA will be better equipped to manage their condition now and in the future.

A Joint Effort in Support of My Day for RA

In support of My Day for RA, people from across Europe are coming together to symbolically donate joints as part of a first-of-its-kind Joint Effort to raise awareness of this initiative. All of the donated joints link together to form an animated human body. As the first supporters, international artist Luciano Micallef from Malta and world-renowned jazz singer Chantal Chamberland from Canada have both donated their hands to symbolise their support for the programme. Luciano is a leading artist famous for abstract paintings and modern portraits of various prominent personalities including the President and Prime Minister of Malta and Benetton founder Luciano Benetton.

I donated a hand because as a painter my hands are the live tools which manipulate paint and materials that give life to my artworks. My hands are the extension of my mind which ultimately deliver my ideas. It is for me inconceivable to live with RA and being deprived of handling paint, building sculptures and creating exciting artworks. said Luciano Micallef. By 'donating' my hand to the My Day for RA programme, I hope to encourage people with RA to symbolically donate one day to learn more about their condition and how to manage it effectively in order to live the most fulfilling life possible.

Individuals and professional and patients groups across Europe are invited to support the programme. If you would like to support the programme by symbolically donating your joint, or would like to support us in other ways, please visit

My Day for RA Pan-European Event

There are many people with RA who are currently effectively managing their condition and living active, independent lives. In recognition of this, people with RA who are confident that they are managing their condition in a way that allows them to live a fulfilling life now and in the future, will soon be invited to share their own inspirational stories at Submissions will be selected for inclusion in a celebratory event later in the year to further motivate RA patients everywhere to manage their disease and live life to the fullest.

My Day for RA was created by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Notes to Editors:

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic condition that typically affects the hands, wrists and feet, and may also affect the knees, hips and shoulders. If the condition persists over time, it can cause permanent damage, including tendon, ligament, cartilage and bone destruction and deformity.


Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, has leading products in the areas of women's health care, infectious disease, gastrointestinal health, central nervous system, inflammation, transplantation, hemophilia, oncology, vaccines and nutritional products.

Wyeth is one of the world's largest research-driven pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products, nutritionals and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide. The Company's major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal Health.


References are available upon request

For further information, please contact: Wyeth: Gill Markham, Communications - Europe, Middle East and Africa, Direct Tel: +44(0)162-869-2536, Mob: +44(0)777-082-7753, Email:; OgilvyHealthPR: Nerea Hinzpeter, OgilvyHealthPR, Tel: +44(0)207-108-6077, Mob: +44-7717320393, Email: