Who we are

The Italian Society of Rheumatology (SIR) is committed to optimising and developing projects in the field of scientific research, education and health care in rheumatology.

SIR encourages every initiative, whether public or private, designed to help the sick and to prevent and treat rheumatic diseases.

Therefore, SIR promotes groups, committees and commissions for studies and research in the field of rheumatic diseases, connective tissue and of the musculoskeletal system, disseminating the knowledge acquired both on scientific and social aspects.

Education, training and social and health care are among the activities to which the SIR dedicates their constant attention.

This commitment is expressed in a variety of activities such as conferences, round tables and workshops on rheumatic diseases, publication of documents, studies and research, development of guidelines and diagnostic-therapeutic protocols, collaboration with institutional authorities in the drafting of documents that provide incentives for prevention and the treatment of rheumatic diseases, coordinating of the exchange of information between specialist centres, hospitals, regional institutions and family physicians, making the pharmaceutical industry aware of specific research in the field of Rheumatology, promotion of large-scale epidemiological studies aimed at obtaining precise data on the incidence of rheumatic diseases, their spread, the prospects for treatment and the protection of patients' rights, with particular reference to the right to an early diagnosis and to appropriate and timely care.

Among the initiatives of the SIR is the national register of patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with biologics, launched through a partnership between the SIR and AIFA (Italian Medicines Agency). The registry is an effective tool to monitor over time the evolution of the disease and the occurrence of side effects in patients treated with these drugs.

The SIR has developed a tool, the monitor-net folder, to standardise the management information systems of the rheumatic patient within the Italian rheumatology centres. This medical record, available on the web and therefore usable by most Italian rheumatology centres, is a valuable support for the setting up of other national registries.

The SIR has always supported the development of Rheumatology not only at a national but also European level. In this context we include the “Written declaration on Rheumatic Diseases” signed by 405 members of the European Parliament and written in collaboration with the EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism), which brought the rheumatic diseases to the attention of the European Parliament and to the official recognition of their social importance.

Through its non-profit foundation FIRA (Italian Foundation for Arthritis Research), the SIR funds clinical and experimental research projects, conducted collaboratively by multiple centres or by individual Italian researchers. In addition, during the National Congress, young, particularly deserving researchers are rewarded. Special support is also given to research on so-called “orphan” diseases or therapies, which have as yet received scarce consideration by public and private, national and international, funding bodies.

Following the directives of the Finance Act, in the national income tax returns, it is to choose the organisation to which to assign the “5 per mille” *, obviously at no additional charge and regardless of the target of the “8 per mille”.

* “5 per mille” means donating 5 cents from every 1000 declared on tax returns to a charitable organisation.

Whoever intends to donate their support to FIRA, the Italian Foundation for Arthritis Research set up by the SIR on December 22nd 2005, shall insert the association’s tax code number in the dedicated box of their income tax form.

Institutional role

The SIR pursues objectives of a prevalently scientific nature and is committed to optimising and developing projects which offer, in the field of health care, qualities that meet the needs of the rheumatic patient, as a disadvantaged person.

The SIR, addressing the problems of rheumatic sufferers, intends to work in the interests of the collective and for the protection and defence of the rights of the individual to guarantee the best possible quality of life in terms of medical, pharmacological and social health care.

The SIR, non-profit organisation, aims to promote and carry out activities in one or more of the following areas of common interest:

a) Scientific research
b) Health care
c) Education
d) Training
e) Health and welfare assistance
f) Protection of civil rights

In order to achieve their primary goals, in addition to the core activities referred to in points a), b), c), d), e), f) of this Article, the association may carry out any activity directly related and ancillary to those listed above as integrative of the same.

The SIR promotes studies and research in the field of rheumatic diseases and disseminates the knowledge acquired both in the scientific and social aspects.

The SIR also proposes to:

  • produce and distribute books, journals, publications and other publishing material relating to rheumatic diseases;
  • protect and improve, with no trade union purposes, the scientific and professional qualifications of its members and devotees of rheumatology as a substantial element for the pursuit of its primary purposes;
  • enhance the scientific, educational and social importance of rheumatology;
  • promote the expansion of  rheumatology care all over the country;
  • establish and coordinate scientific, educational and professional training programmes for rheumatologists, for general practitioners and for healthcare professionals who are interested in the problems of rheumatic diseases and for those who assist rheumatic patients, also with annual programmes of CME training activities in accordance with the criteria and limits set by the National Commission for Continuing Education;
  • establish, encourage and support, totally or partially, research programmes on one or more rheumatic diseases or on individual aspects of rheumatic diseases;
  • promote health education and training courses of a continuing nature for the sick;
  • develop guidelines independently or in collaboration with the Agency for Regional Health Services (A.S.S.R.) and the Italian Federation of Medical Societies (IMF);
  • plan and coordinate initiatives in the areas of teaching and scientific research, also by means of specific research projects;
  • maintain relationships with national and international scientific companies and associations;
  • participate in national and international organisations, companies, associations and federations that have among their aims the study and treatment of rheumatic diseases as well as assistance to and solidarity with rheumatic sufferers.

The SIR promotes national and international courses and conferences. It organises, every year if possible, the National Congress, in accordance with the “Rules of Congresses”. The Association promotes groups, committees and commissions whose initiatives and organizations are approved, considering there is a well-reasoned request, by the Board of Directors, to whom they shall render an annual account of their work.

In order to achieve their goals, the SIR can act in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, with the Regions, the health authorities, other bodies and public health institutions, also with voluntary associations and public and private organisations that offer complementary purposes or who, as non-profit organisations, deal with the problems of rheumatic sufferers and their handicaps.

Through appropriate verification systems, the SIR can verify the actual performance of the activities of the association, in addition to ensuring the proper level of quality.

The SIR verifies the fulfilment, the completion and recognition of the value of the research supported, by using the recognised scientific instruments of evaluation represented by the publications of national or international journals.