Japan: When lipstick means independence

Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can mean a significant change in lifestyle for many RA patients. As this inflammatory disease progresses, joints stiffen and eventually become so badly affected that they are irreparably damaged. This means people with RA can become increasingly disabled and more dependent on others for help to complete daily tasks such as getting dressed or preparing meals.

Those who care for people suffering from RA understand the burden that their loved ones carry. Caring for RA patients often involves assisting them with physical tasks and in getting around. However, emotional support and encouragement is just as important for people with RA.

Small actions that can make a big difference

In Japan, cultural behaviours can mean that open discussions about family illnesses are not always encouraged. ‘Mother’s Lipstick’ was produced by Chugai Pharmaceutical, a member of the Roche Group, to highlight some of the challenges of living with RA - the loss of independence and the impact on the patient’s family - but also the small, everyday actions that can make a big difference. This short film tells the story of a young man who supports his mother, suffering from RA. Although the disease has impacted her in many ways, he still recognises the woman she has always been. A visit to the doctor provides a glimpse into how her disease is now under control. Mother’s Lipstick was used to highlight the need for people with RA to build a trusting relationship with their doctor to proactively manage their disease as early as possible.

Early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is key

Today, different treatments are available that aim to control the inflammation, help with pain relief and improve physical function so that people suffering from RA can maintain their independence as long as possible. Because RA is a progressive disease it is important that patients begin their therapy as early as possible following diagnosis. With early, effective treatment people with RA can improve their overall health and prevent pain, joint damage and immobility from taking over their lives.

At Roche, it is our mission to work towards a brighter future for those affected by RA. By advancing our scientific expertise, we aim to discover and develop innovative medicines for patients living with autoimmune diseases, such as RA.


Management of rheumatoid arthritis

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