Marlborough, Mass.-based Sunovion Pharmaceuticals is supporting several advocacy initiatives during the month of November in observance of the coinciding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Epilepsy Awareness Months in the U.S., as well as World COPD Day on Nov. 16.
Sunovion, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma of Japan, says this support is the manifestation of the company’s belief that meaningful advocacy and relevant education can improve the lives of people afflicted with these health conditions through programs and activities designed to raise public awareness and to support patients and their families.
“We are proud to partner with leading advocates and advocacy groups in recognizing the impact of epilepsy and COPD on patients and their families,” said Sunovion’s chairman and chief executive officer Nobuhiko Tamura in a press release. “We believe it is important to support the epilepsy and COPD communities and the role of caregivers in helping patients with these conditions.”
Sunovion COPD Awareness Month and World COPD Day Activities
Throughout November Sunovion is supporting the COPD Foundation’s Go Orange campaign, which is shining a light focused on COPD throughout the U.S. COPD encompasses progressive respiratory diseases, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which cause worsening airflow obstruction in the lungs over time. It is estimated that about 15.7 million adults in the U.S. have a COPD diagnosis, and several million more U.S. adults have undiagnosed COPD. The disease is responsible for more than 120,000 deaths per year, making it America’s third leading cause of death.
As part of the Go Orange campaign effort, prominent buildings and landmarks will be illuminated in orange, the designated COPD support color, including:
- Helmsley Building, New York, Nov. 7
- Houston City Hall, Nov. 7 and 8
- Coney Island Parachute Jump, New York, Nov. 16
- Fox Theatre, Atlanta, Nov. 16
- Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57, Nov. 16
Sunovion also recently announced its alliance with the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) to build a grassroots community for COPD caregivers, providing them with an online support system that will include informative and inspirational videos featuring COPD caregivers. The company is encouraging people to wear orange and to post images on social media channels with the hashtag #whodoyouwearorangefor in order to help raise awareness and show support for COPD patients and their caregivers during November. Images also can be uploaded to the COPD Foundation’s COPD360social community.
National Epilepsy Awareness Month Activities
In partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation and Star Wars actor and epilepsy advocate Greg Grunberg, Sunovion has launched the #MyEpilepsyHero social media campaign designed to provide persons impacted by epilepsy an opportunity to recognize individuals who have made a positive difference in their lives by providing support or inspiration. An epilepsy hero may be a family member, caregiver, healthcare provider, or mentor.
One in 26 people in the U.S. will develop epilepsy in his or her lifetime, making it the fourth most common neurological disorder, with approximately 200,000 new cases of seizures and epilepsy occurring in the country each year.
The disease manifests in the form of unprovoked seizures caused by abnormal firing of impulses from nerve cells in the brain. According to Sunovion, up to 40% of people living with epilepsy don’t respond to the first or second monotherapy, with approximately 36% failing to achieve adequate seizure control, despite the use of two or more anti-epileptic medications.
Until Dec. 16, videos or photographs of epilepsy heroes can be posted using the hashtag #MyEpilepsyHero on Facebook or Twitter. Once a target of 500 heroes has been reached, Sunovion will donate $10,000 to the Epilepsy Foundation. For more information about the MyEpilepsyHero campaign or to participate, you can visit the #MyEpilepsyHero event page on Facebook.