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On World Arthritis Day, AstraZeneca Encourages Greater Awareness, Education of Osteoarthritis

WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Currently, 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, with this number expected to increase to 67 million with doctor-diagnosed arthritis by 2030.(1,2) This year, for World Arthritis Day, AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) is providing several online resources designed to motivate and educate patients affected by osteoarthritis. From exercise tips for healthy living to inspiring real-life patient stories, these free tools provide a range of useful information that can help people affected by arthritis pain keep doing the daily activities they love.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/52113-astrazeneca-world-arthritis-day-osteoarthritis-education  

Helpful resources include:

  • Getting Started 21-Day Program with tools to better manage arthritis pain and encourage changes in the way people with arthritis view and cope with the condition
  • Inspiring arthritis journals from real women with arthritis who share their reflections on managing symptoms and living an active lifestyle; each journal entry also includes advice from experts who offer encouragement and inspiration along the way
  • Entertaining Arthritis SmartMoves Videos about the adventures of three fictional friends who find help through their friendship and by speaking to a health care professional

"On World Arthritis Day, AstraZeneca wishes to help increase awareness of osteoarthritis – a painful and often debilitating condition that affects 27 million Americans," said Kevin Hamill, VIMOVO® Commercial Leader at AstraZeneca. "Therefore, we are pleased to make these resources available and hope that they can help educate and motivate people affected by arthritis."

Some treatment plans involve a medication to help relieve the pain of arthritis. One treatment option is VIMOVO® (naproxen/esomeprazole magnesium) 375/20-500/20 mg delayed-release tablets, which is a prescription-strength pain reliever that can help patients avoid stomach issues common to NSAIDs.

VIMOVO is indicated for the relief of signs and symptoms of three different kinds of arthritis (osteoarthritis, adult rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis), and to decrease the risk of stomach (gastric) ulcers in patients at risk of developing stomach ulcers from treatment with NSAIDs. VIMOVO is not recommended as a treatment for relief of acute pain. Controlled studies do not extend beyond 6 months.(3) Please see the Important Safety Information regarding VIMOVO, including Boxed Warnings, in the "About VIMOVO" section below.  VIMOVO should be used at the lowest dose and for the shortest amount of time as directed by your health care provider.

To help patients afford their medication, AstraZeneca provides the VIMOVO savings card that offers commercially insured patients the opportunity to pay only $10 each month for up to 12 prescriptions of VIMOVO (up to a $75 savings per month). Cash-paying patients save up to $75 per month on up to 12 prescriptions. Full eligibility rules and restrictions are available at VIMOVO.com.

For more information, talk to your doctor and visit VIMOVO.com.

NOTE TO EDITORS:

About World Arthritis Day

Now in its 16th year, World Arthritis Day is celebrated annually on October 12. The Day was established by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI), and its Web site is now supported and managed by EULAR, the European League Against Rheumatism. According to EULAR, the aims of World Arthritis Day are to raise awareness of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) amongst the medical community, people with RMDs and the general public; influence public policy by making decision-makers aware of the burden of RMDs and the steps which can be taken to ease it; and ensure all people with RMDs and their caregivers are aware of the vast support network available to them.

About VIMOVO

VIMOVO is a fixed-dose combination of delayed-release enteric-coated naproxen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and immediate-release esomeprazole, a stomach acid-reducing proton pump inhibitor (PPI), approved for the relief of signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, and to decrease the risk of developing gastric ulcers in patients at risk of developing NSAID-associated gastric ulcers. VIMOVO is not recommended for use in children younger than 18 years of age. VIMOVO is not recommended for initial treatment of acute pain because the absorption of naproxen is delayed compared to absorption from other naproxen-containing products. Controlled studies do not extend beyond 6 months.(3) VIMOVO should be used at the lowest dose and for the shortest amount of time as directed by your health care provider.

VIMOVO has been developed as a sequential-delivery tablet formulation combining an immediate-release esomeprazole magnesium layer and an enteric-coated naproxen core. As a result, esomeprazole is released first in the stomach, prior to the dissolution of naproxen in the small intestine. The enteric coating prevents naproxen release at pH levels below 5.5.(3)

About Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints.(4) Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting 151 million individuals worldwide and 27 million Americans.(1,4,5) A combination of factors can contribute to osteoarthritis, including being overweight, aging, joint injury or stress, heredity, and muscle weakness.(6) Osteoarthritis commonly affects the hands, spine or large weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees.(7)

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, mainly characterized by inflammation of the lining, or synovium, of the joints. It can lead to long-term joint damage, resulting in chronic pain, loss of function, and disability.(8)

About Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily causes pain and inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of the spine and the joints between the spine and pelvis (sacroiliac joints). Ankylosing spondylitis may also cause inflammation and pain in other parts of the body as well.(9)

Important Safety Information

  • Like all medications that contain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), VIMOVO may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death. This chance increases
    • With longer use of NSAID medicines
    • In people who have heart disease
  • NSAID-containing medications, such as VIMOVO, should never be used before or after a type of heart surgery called coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
  • As with all medications that contain NSAIDs, VIMOVO may increase the chance of stomach and intestinal problems, such as bleeding or an ulcer, which can occur without warning and may cause death
    • Elderly patients are at greater risk for serious gastrointestinal events

VIMOVO is not right for everyone, including patients who have had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic reaction with aspirin or any other NSAID medicine, patients who are allergic to any of the ingredients in VIMOVO, or women in late stages of pregnancy.

Serious allergic reactions, including skin reactions, can occur without warning and can be life-threatening; discontinue use of VIMOVO at the first appearance of a skin rash, or if you develop sudden wheezing; swelling of the lips, tongue or throat; fainting; or problems swallowing.

VIMOVO should be used at the lowest dose and for the shortest amount of time as directed by your health care provider.

Tell your health care provider right away if you develop signs of active bleeding from any source.

VIMOVO can lead to onset of new hypertension or worsening of existing high blood pressure, either of which may contribute to an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Speak with your health care provider before starting VIMOVO if you

  • Have a history of ulcers or bleeding in the stomach or intestines
  • Have heart problems, high blood pressure, or are taking high blood pressure medications
  • Have kidney or liver problems

Tell your health care provider about all of the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements before starting VIMOVO.

Talk to your health care provider about your risk for bone fractures if you take VIMOVO for a long period of time.

Talk to your health care provider about your risk for developing low levels of magnesium if you take VIMOVO for a long period of time.

The most common side effects of VIMOVO include: inflammation of the lining of the stomach, indigestion, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, abdominal pain, and nausea.

Approved Uses for VIMOVO

VIMOVO is approved to relieve the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis and to decrease the risk of stomach (gastric) ulcers in patients at risk of developing stomach ulcers from treatment with NSAIDs.

VIMOVO is not recommended as a starting treatment for relief of acute pain. Controlled studies do not extend beyond 6 months.

For further information on VIMOVO, please see the full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warnings available at http://www1.astrazeneca-us.com/pi/vimovo.pdf.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

For more information about AstraZeneca in the U.S. or our AZ&Me™ Prescription Savings programs, please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com or call 1-800-AZandMe (292-6363).

CONTACTS:

Media Inquiries US:
Elizabeth Renz, +1 302 885 1936

(1) Helmick, C., Felson, D., Lawrence, R., Gabriel, S., et al. Estimates of the Prevalence of Arthritis and Other Rheumatic conditions in the United States. Arthritis & Rheumatism 58(1), 15-25. 2008.

(2) NIAMS. Cartilage: The Key to Healthy Joints. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Osteoarthritis/. Accessed August 8, 2011.

(3) Prescribing Information for VIMOVO. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Wilmington, DE.

(4) Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis: What is it? http://www.arthritis.org/disease-center.php?disease_id=32 Accessed April 16, 2010.

(5) Global Burden of Osteoarthritis in the year 2000, (Symmons, Mathers, Pfleger, 2006), Global Burden of Disease 2004.

(6) Mayo Clinic. Osteoarthritis: Causes. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarthritis/DS00019/DSECTION=causes. Accessed February 2009.

(7) American College of Rheumatology. Osteoarthritis. http://www.rheumatology.org/public/factsheets/diseases_and_conditions/osteoarthritis.asp. Accessed February 23, 2009.

(8) American College of Rheumatology. Rheumatoid Arthritis. What is rheumatoid arthritis?

(9) Mayo Clinic. Ankylosing Spondylitis. Definition. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ankylosing-spondylitis/DS00483. Accessed September 2009.

1466100 10/11

SOURCE AstraZeneca

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