As the National Rosacea Society (NRS) enters its 27th year in 2019, we are pleased to report the immense progress that has been made in achieving our mission of improving the lives of people with rosacea through awareness, education and support of medical research on this widespread but poorly understood disorder.
In 1992, rosacea was considered a rare disease, and its first treatment had recently been approved as an orphan drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the belief that fewer than 200,000 Americans suffered from it. It soon became evident, however, that rosacea affected the lives of untold millions, who had previously failed to realize they had a medical condition that could be treated.
Through public awareness efforts by the NRS, an ongoing surge of media coverage that began in the 1990s brought a tidal wave of rosacea patients to dermatologists, who were increasingly able to diagnose and treat this chronic and often complex condition.
Because the cause of rosacea is unknown and there is no cure, at the end of the decade the NRS instituted a grants program dedicated to encouraging and supporting medical research that might lead to improvements in its treatment, management and potential prevention. Supported entirely by donations from individuals, the research grants program has awarded more than $1.6 million to fund 70 medical scientific studies to date.
To provide a basis for meaningful scientific investigation, the NRS organized a consensus committee and review panel of 21 medical experts to establish a standard definition and classification system for rosacea, published in 2002, as well as a standard grading system published in 2004. As follow-up, an NRS consensus committee and review panel of 26 medical experts published standard management options for rosacea in 2009. In 2017, an updated classification and pathophysiology of rosacea was published, reflecting the increased understanding of the disease and its progression gained in the 15 years since the original classification was published.
Meanwhile, through the generous support of an increasing number of companies committed to rosacea, the NRS has been able to continue its extensive outreach and educational activities at no cost to its members. Today the NRS provides educational services to more than 2.3 million people with rosacea each year, and conducts awareness activities that have reached a total audience exceeding 400 million annually.
Most importantly, through the commitment of rosacea sufferers, physicians, medical science and industry, an expanding array of therapies for the various signs and symptoms of rosacea is now available or on its way. We hope you will give or continue your vitally needed support.