NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NIAMS/
National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases: NIAMS Legislative Chronology
August 1950--An arthritis program was established within the National Institute of
Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases under P.L. 81-692.
May 1972--The institute was renamed the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism
and Digestive Diseases, P.L. 92-305.
1973--Senator Alan Cranston introduced legislation which would eventually lead to
the National Arthritis Act. Companion legislation was introduced in the House by
Congressman Paul Rogers.
January 1975--The National Arthritis Act (P.L. 93-640) established the National
Commission on Arthritis and Related Musculoskeletal Diseases to study the problem of
arthritis in depth and to develop an arthritis plan. The act also established the position
of associate director for arthritis and related musculoskeletal diseases and authorized an
Interagency Arthritis Coordinating Committee, community demonstration project grants, an
arthritis data bank, an information clearinghouse, and comprehensive centers for research
diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and education.
April 1976--After a year of study and public hearings, the commission issued a
comprehensive plan aimed at diminishing the physical, economic, and psychosocial effects
of arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases. It laid the groundwork for a national program
encompassing research, research training, education and patient care.
October 1976--P.L. 94-562, the Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive Diseases
Amendments of 1976 established the National Arthritis Advisory Board to review and
evaluate the implementation of the Arthritis Plan, prepared in response to the National
Arthritis Act (P.L. 93-640).
December 1980--P.L. 96-538 changed the name of the institute to the National
Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
1982--The Department conferred bureau status on the institute, resulting in
creation of the Division of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Diseases and the
appointment of a division director.
November 1985--The Health Research Extension Act of 1985, P.L. 99-158, established
the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, to bring
increased emphasis to research on these disorders. The legislation provided for the
development of a plan for a national arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases program,
establishment of two interagency coordinating committees, one on arthritis and
musculoskeletal diseases and one on skin diseases, and expanded the activities of the
National Arthritis Advisory Board to include musculoskeletal and skin diseases.