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|Lifestyle Coaching Program Launched Today Helps People with Rheumatoid Arthritis Remain Active|
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 26, 2004-- Inaugural Web Cast of RheumMates.com Features Celebrity Fitness Expert Bob Greene
The Arthritis Foundation, Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:WYE) today introduced "RheumMates"(TM), a lifestyle-coaching program for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to help manage the physical and emotional impact of this disease. At the core of the program is RheumMates.com, a new online resource creating a virtual partnership between lifestyle experts and people with RA to help them understand treatment options and help them maintain an active life. The site offers content, tools and advice from experts in fields such as fitness, nutrition, relationships and careers.
Starting today, people can register on RheumMates.com for an interactive Web cast being held on August 6, 2004, featuring fitness expert Bob Greene. This will be the first in a series of Web casts on the site. Greene, who rose to fame as Oprah Winfrey's personal trainer and is the best selling author of "Get With the Program," will share his advice and encouragement for living a fit and active life. Joining Greene will be John H. Klippel, M.D., president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. The two experts will share their strategies to help people with RA stay active to gain greater control of their disease. RheumMates.com is a Web site complementing the Arthritis Foundation's RA Connect community at www.arthritis.org.
"RA can be a devastating disease that can take a toll on every aspect of a person's life. It can affect anyone, but primarily targets women in their young- to mid-adult years," said Dr. Klippel. "The Internet is making it easier for people with RA and their families to get information about the condition and connect with others who have the disease. In addition to finding appropriate treatment with a rheumatologist, we encourage people with RA and their families to start utilizing `RheumMates' and to take an active role in limiting the potential impact of RA."
"RA can pose serious challenges to physical activity and flexibility, but it does not have to mean the end of an active and healthy life," said Bob Greene. "We believe that my approach to fitness, involving mind, body and spirit, will help empower and motivate people with RA to start or restart an appropriate fitness program."
Affecting more than 2 million Americans, RA is a chronic and potentially disabling autoimmune disease that can cause painful swelling and stiffness in the joints of the hands, feet and wrists. Left untreated or improperly diagnosed, joint damage can limit a person's ability to function. The symptoms of RA can make any task difficult, from simple acts such as getting dressed or holding a cup of coffee, to more complex activities such as cooking, playing golf or gardening.
It is critical for people with RA to work closely with a rheumatologist to obtain appropriate treatment that can help manage often painful and devastating symptoms. A wide range of treatment options is available to help manage the symptoms of RA, from exercise and joint protection, to medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and biologic agents. Biologic agents are a new class of medications that can specifically target parts of the immune system that are affected by RA and can lead to joint and tissue damage. These treatments not only relieve pain and reduce inflammation, but are the only treatments indicated to inhibit the progression of joint damage, which may lead to improved patient mobility and vitality.
"An important goal, both physically and mentally for many people with RA, is to resume their normal daily activities following their diagnosis," said Dr. Klippel. "People with RA need support for the whole person. In addition to staying active, it is essential that people with RA seek out a comprehensive treatment plan that can help them improve their mobility and limit the affects of joint damage."
"RheumMates": Lifestyle Coaching for Active Living
"RheumMates" is a lifestyle coaching program for people with RA to learn about the real-life impact of their diagnosis, provide tools for understanding treatment options, and get expert advice to help meet the challenges of daily living. Offering content, tools and advice from experts in fields such as fitness, nutrition, relationships and careers, RheumMates.com is an online resource creating a virtual partnership between lifestyle experts and people with RA to help them maintain an active lifestyle. "RheumMates" was created by the Arthritis Foundation, along with Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, as a new resource for the millions of Americans with RA.
About the Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation is the only nationwide, non-profit health organization helping people take greater control of arthritis by leading efforts to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related diseases -- the nation's number one cause of disability. For free information about arthritis, contact the Arthritis Foundation at 1-800-283-7800 or on the Web at www.arthritis.org.
About Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Amgen is a global biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets important human therapeutics based on advances in cellular and molecular biology. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, has leading products in the areas of women's health care, cardiovascular disease, central nervous system, inflammation, hemophilia, oncology and vaccines. Wyeth is one of the world's largest research-driven pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide. The Company's major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal Health.
CONTACT: Amgen Andrea Rothschild, 805-447-4587 or Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Jenifer Antonacci, 484-865-5220 or Arthritis Foundation Kerry Spivey, 404-965-7635 SOURCE: Amgen