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AGA Institute and Horizon Therapeutics Expand Connect to Protect Program to Educate Consumers on NSAID Risk

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 General News J E 4
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- Web site to offer educational and practical resources for patients -

BETHESDA, Md. and CHICAGO, Oct. 21 -- The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) and Horizon Therapeutics, Inc. today announced the expansion of their partnership program, Connect to Protect (connecttoprotect.com) to include components that educate consumers about the gastrointestinal (GI) risks associated with chronic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use and ways to manage those risks.

"Studies show that patients often under-report the use of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, to their physicians because they do not consider it important enough to mention," said Byron Cryer, MD, professor, internal medicine – digestive and liver diseases, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and independent medical advisor, Connect to Protect program.  "The goals of the Connect to Protect program are to increase individuals' awareness of the risks of NSAID use, provide those who frequently use NSAIDs for mild-to-moderate pain with information and tools to understand the GI risks, and most importantly, encourage individuals to have conversations with their physician."

The program Web site – www.connecttoprotect.com  – now features resources that include a patient discussion guide to help consumers track their potential risks and prepare to discuss those risks with their physician, a dictionary of terms commonly used in diagnosing and treating NSAID-induced GI issues, and a patient narrative detailing first-hand experience of complications from chronic NSAID use. In addition, Dr. Cryer offers his insight on the importance of patients and physicians working together to address NSAID risks.

"We are excited to continue this important initiative with the AGA and expand it to reach many of the 60 million chronic NSAID users who are at risk," said Timothy P. Walbert, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Therapeutics. "Connect to Protect provides valuable information and resources to both physicians and patients to encourage important dialogue on how to address potential GI risks associated with chronic NSAID use."

About NSAIDs and GI Toxicity

It is estimated that more than 60 million Americans use NSAIDs regularly, resulting in clinically significant upper GI events in 1 percent to 2 percent of users. NSAIDs, most often used for the treatment of arthritis and pain, block enzymes and reduce prostaglandins throughout the body and as a consequence, ongoing inflammation, pain and fever are reduced. Since the prostaglandins that protect the stomach are reduced, NSAIDs often cause ulcers in the stomach. It is estimated that GI hemorrhages due to NSAID use account for approximately 60,000 to 120,000 hospital admissions annually. Though difficult to quantify, available reports suggest that deaths from NSAID-related GI events vary from 3,200 to more than 16,500 per year in the U.S.

About the AGA

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to include 17,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization. www.gastro.org.

About Horizon Therapeutics

Horizon Therapeutics, Inc. is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of mild-to-moderate pain and arthritis.  Horizon's clinical portfolio includes innovative combination therapies in early- and late-stage development that are designed to improve safety, efficacy and patient compliance. For more information about the company and its products, please visit www.horizontherapeutics.com.

Funding for the program was provided through a grant from Horizon Therapeutics.  

SOURCE Horizon Therapeutics, Inc.; The AGA Institute

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