A House of Commons public accounts committee report found low awareness led to delays in seeking medical help.
Edward Leigh MP, public accounts committee chairman, said that 'the root of this delay is a widespread lack of knowledge'.
The report called for a DoH campaign to raise awareness. It stressed the importance of making better use of specialist nurses in GP practices to review and monitor RA patients.
It also identified wide variations across PCTs in the amount spent per patient on providing RA services and in access to biological therapies.