Working and functional capacity
For each of us, health and working capacity are among the most important elements of life but they also play a major role for the society at large.
The Finnish population is rapidly ageing, and therefore it is more and more important to invest in the wellbeing and maintained working capacity of those in the active working age. Finland needs a population able to work and in good state of health. This also means that our healthcare system is faced with new challenges.
New medicines have helped to tackle diseases that used to lead to invalidity, at the same time providing added health and wellbeing.
Many diseases that inevitably marginalised people from the active working life in the past can now be treated. Several chronic diseases have become mundane problems that can be taken care of.
For example, asthma and rheumatism are still severe diseases but good treatments allow the patients to cope and maintain their working capacity. Mental problems no longer stigmatise the patients and do not isolate them from the rest of society to the same degree they used to.
People’s improved functional and working capacity has major cost impacts in terms of invalidity pensions, sickness allowances and benefits payable to the disabled. For this reason, the medicines assessments should involve not only the direct and immediate impacts (such as the capacity to lower the diabetic's blood sugar content) but also look into how medicines affect the patient’s functional and working capacity and to what their societal impact is— not to mention how individuals’ quality of life is affected.