Services Research Education & Training FAQs Site & Contact Us Home
Ethic Committee
Scientific Advisory Board
CRD Team
CRD Functions
CRD R & D Lab
Curriculum Vitae

Contribution to Indian Rheumatology

Recognized by the IRACON – AVENTIS AWARD 2003
(awarded annually to 1 Rheumatologist by Indian Rheumatology Association)
1. Epidemiology
        Under the auspices of WHO ILAR/APLAR, the maiden COPCORD (Community Oriented program for control of rheumatic disease) project in India was launched in village Bhigwan (Pune District) in 1996 with Dr. A Chopra as the principle investigator. After the population survey, this project, for the first time in the World, has been continued till date to fulfill the requirements of COPCORD Stage II (identifying risk factor and educating community) and III (preventive strategy). Data on prevalence, incidence, risk factors, immunogenetics and community concepts has been published in peer reviewed medical journals. In fact, the COPCORD Bhigwan model of epidemiology has acquired a unique distinction as a socioeconomically appealing, fast track model. COPCORD Bhigwan data has been used to project the South East Asia scenario in the WHO-Bone and Joint Decade (BJD) scientific group report (WHO TRS, 2005) on ‘The burden of musculoskeletal conditions at the start of the new millennium’. The data is also included in the chapter on epidemiology of rheumatic diseases in the ‘API Textbook of Medicine, 2004’, which is widely read by undergraduate and postgraduate medical students in India.
Arthritis and Ayurveda
        Along with School of Health Sciences, Pune University, a modern medicine-Ayurveda interface was set up in 1989 to explore the Ayurvedic system for better therapy of ‘difficult to treat diseases’. Arthritis was accepted as the model for study. Dr. A Chopra set up protocols to validate anti-arthritic Ayurvedic medicines as per modern norms. And the first well designed drug trial for a potential Ayurvedic medicine in patients with RA was completed in 1994 under an Indo-US collaborative research project with co-investigators from Boston. Several trials have followed. Dr. A Chopra has contributed on various aspects of Ayurvedic drug development in treatment of RA and OA. A well recognized and validated outcome of his clinical research has been the launch of Artrex, a standardized Ayurvedic derived anti-arthritic medicine now manufactured (Dabur, India & Bioved, USA) and marketed in India, Singapore and USA.

        CSIR< Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, has launched and funded NMITLI (New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative) project 2002-2005 to obtain global leadership position in certain niche areas. Arthritis has been selected as a principle NMITLI project with the aim to validate effective and safe Ayurveda derived herbal medicines for OA and RA. Dr. A Chopra is the principal investigator and Clinical Co-ordinator for several national facilities which include co-investigators from AIIMS New Delhi, NIMS Hyderabad, and KEM Hospital & SPARC Mumbai. The project was begun on 01 April 2002.
The Bone and Joint Decade India
        After being selected by WHO to participate in the world wide launch of BJD in 2000, Dr. A Chopra has been working as the national secretary for BJD India. During the last 5 years he has organized public education programs and CME/update programs for the medical faculty in several parts of India. Dr. A Chopra was also the co-ordinator for the recently launched and funded BJD epidemiology program for rheumatic diseases, on the pattern of Bhigwan COPCORD project, that has been initiated in Chennai, Jammu and Pune in 2003.

        Dr. A Chopra has been awarded the BJD International Award for Partnership 2003, given annually to one person every year for exceptional achievement in developing an innovative program or event based on collaborations through public, private, and/or government partnerships in support of the Bone and Joint Decade mission of improving the health-related quality of life for people with musculoskeletal disorders
Quality of Life Instruments- Functional Disability assessment
        Since 1991, Dr. A Chopra has developed well validated HAQ and WOMAC in several Indian languages for Indian use. These have been used in several drug trials (both Ayurvedic and COX 2 Inhibitors), COPCORD Bhigwan population study and are now being used in the CSIR, GOI, NMITLI Arthritis project (see above).
Education and Research
        Dr. A Chopra has obtained recognition from University of Pune to conduct PhD research in Center for Rheumatic Diseases since 2001, in the subjects of clinical and epidemiological sciences pertaining to rheumatology. Dr. A Chopra has 4 PhD students currently working in osteoporosis, RA Ayurvedic therapy and immunogenetics.

        CRD, Pune, is also perhaps the first rheumatology center to be awarded recognition as ‘Scientific & Industrial Research Organization’ by DSIR, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India.
Hermes Doctor House, Hermes Elegance, Convent Street, Camp, Pune – 411 001, Maharashtra, India.
020-26348529, 26345624, 26344099