ARCH is the medical expertise platform for rare conditions of arthritis. By rare we mean that the disease or condition occurs only in relatively few people and therefore causes rather specific problems. Within Europe, a condition is considered as rare if fewer than 1 in 2,000 people are diagnosed with it.
Over 12,000 people in the Netherlands have been diagnosed with a rare form of arthritis. Naturally we want all these people to get the best possible care, but as we can’t do everything at the same time, we’ve started by focussing on systemic sclerosis,ANCA associated vasculitis, Antiphospholipid syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus. Studies show that that we can do the most for the patient in the short term for these particular conditions. Other rare forms of arthritis may follow in due course.
“You want to know that you’re in good hands exactly because you have a rare disease.”
“I see no more than 10 patients a year with a rare form of arthritis, while other experts might have 100 patients a year with such rare conditions.”