Last August, U.S. Pain Foundation arranged for three patient representatives and one caregiver to speak about the challenges of osteoarthritis before senior officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, MD.

FDA listening sessions are small, informal discussions about a disease state that can be either FDA-requested or patient-led (in this case, the latter).  The sessions help FDA staff better understand patients’ experiences with a particular disease or condition.

A total of 24 FDA officials joined the osteoarthritis listening session in-person or via conference call. Three partner organizations also participated via conference call: the Arthritis Foundation, the National Council on Aging, the National Kidney Foundation, and HealthyWomen.

The three patients–Bob Boehler, Kelly Lewis, and Rebecca Kavanaugh Stubbles–and Bob’s wife and caregiver, Cindy, bravely shared about their experiences with osteoarthritis and challenges they’ve faced in managing the disease. Shaina Smith, U.S. Pain’s Director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development, also discussed the impact of the condition from the organization’s perspective.

Following the listening session, the organizing patient group has the opportunity to write and submit a summary, which is then posted on the FDA’s website. Here is that summary.