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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.


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