Salix Pharmaceuticals issued the following announcement on April 3.
Salix Pharmaceuticals ("Salix"), one of the largest specialty pharmaceutical companies in the world committed to the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, announced today that it will launch several national initiatives, in honor of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month, aimed to broaden understanding of advances in research and to improve the recognition of symptoms for patients who live with the chronic disease. Efforts include a nationwide educational event for physicians, a donation towards patient advocacy efforts, the launch of a new website and partnerships with social media influencers.
IBS is a common intestinal disorder1 that affects over 30 million people in the United States.2 There are between 2.4 and 3.5 million annual physician visits for IBS in the United States alone.1
"The direct and indirect medical costs associated with IBS, including loss of productivity and work absenteeism, is estimated in the range of $21 billion or more annually," said Mark McKenna, president, Salix Pharmaceuticals.1 "Through these national initiatives, we hope to help empower patients to seek treatment and reduce the burden of a delayed diagnosis."
Salix's IBS Awareness Month initiatives will include:
- Interactive Physician Educational EventSalix will host a national broadcast event, live from Los Angeles on Apr. 11, centered around expanding education on irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). The event will feature world renowned leaders in gastroenterology, IBS-D and microbiome research, Mark Pimentel, M.D., of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Darren Brenner, M.D., of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Together they will review the current understanding of the gut microbiota, how bacterial imbalance impacts IBS-D symptoms and advances in research and treatment options. Healthcare professionals are at the forefront of diagnosing patients, so through these initiatives, Salix seeks to arm physicians with the latest knowledge around IBS-D so that they may help provide the most optimal treatment for their patients. Healthcare professionals can register to attend the event, either in-person at one of 60 venues across the nation or via a webcast, by visiting this link.
- Advocacy SupportIn continuing Salix's relationship with the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), the founders of IBS Awareness Month, Salix is supporting IFFGD's educational and research efforts so that they may continue to advance their mission of improving the lives of people affected by GI disorders.
- New Patient WebsiteA new patient education website will be launching that is designed to be fresh, relatable and empathetic for those with IBS-D, and serve as a platform to empower, educate and provide support to sufferers. The website will offer information on IBS-D, including symptoms and possible causes, as well as educational material. The new website, ibsdtakesguts.com, will be available to the public in mid-April.
- Social Media Influencer and Celebrity Partnerships Salix has partnered with a select set of social media and celebrity influencers who will seek to destigmatize the discussion about IBS and bowel habits. Through their voices, these influencers will share their personal experiences and educational information around IBS via their social media platforms. In doing so, they will seek to empower and encourage their audiences, as well as those who may be suffering in silence, to talk to their doctor and find the right treatment plan that works best for them.
Original source can be found here.