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“Project Runway’s” Tim Gunn Returns to Address Psoriasis™ and Empower Patients to be Confident in Their Personal Style

Wed, 03/03/2010 - 6:23am
Pfizer

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amgen and Pfizer have once again partnered with Tim Gunn, television host, fashion consultant and chief creative officer of Liz Claiborne, Inc., to launch the second year of Addressing Psoriasis™, the disease awareness program designed to help people with psoriasis get more information about their condition and feel more confident in their everyday style. Dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, M.D., and Gunn are working together, again in 2010, to encourage people with psoriasis to visit a dermatologist and take the first step in managing their condition.

This year, Addressing Psoriasis™ kicks off with an exciting new contest inviting people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis to share their personal stories about the challenges of living with the condition, including the impact on their personal style, and how they think Gunn may help them present their best selves to the world. Individuals 18 or older with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis are eligible to enter for a chance to win a personal style consultation with Gunn and the opportunity to help raise public awareness of the condition. Five winners will be chosen, each of whom will receive a trip to New York City to receive a one-on-one consultation from Gunn. To learn how to enter the contest, view complete official rules and find useful resources about psoriasis, visit www.addresspsoriasis.com. You can also find Addressing Psoriasis™ on Facebook.

“Through my involvement in the first year of Addressing Psoriasis™ I learned how much of an impact psoriasis can have on a person’s physical and emotional well-being,” said Gunn. “As someone who has always been an advocate of confidence as the ultimate fashion staple, I’m thrilled to continue to help encourage people with psoriasis to address their condition, which includes visiting a dermatologist and embracing their personal style.”

From now until April 30, 2010 people are encouraged to visit www.addresspsoriasis.com and offer their tips for living fashionably with psoriasis. Questions about style challenges can also be submitted to Gunn via the Web site. Select questions will be answered by Gunn later this year in a style resource guide designed especially for people with psoriasis.

“One of the best parts about being an Addressing Psoriasis™ winner was having the opportunity to share my story with other people in the psoriasis community,” says Cynthia McGowen, a 2009 Addressing Psoriasis™ winner. “I know from personal experience just how isolating this disease can be, so I encourage people to enter the contest and connect with others who have faced similar challenges because of their psoriasis.”

Psoriasis, which affects approximately 7.5 million Americans, is a chronic disease of the immune system that causes the skin cells to grow at an accelerated rate. Although there are several types of psoriasis, approximately 80 percent of patients suffer from plaque psoriasis, which can cause painful and itchy red, scaly patches.

According to data collected from psoriasis patients by the National Psoriasis Foundation over a six-year period (2004 – 2009), 41 percent of patients choose their clothing to conceal their psoriasis. The Foundation's results also showed:

  • 73 percent of respondents said they feel self-conscious about their psoriasis
  • 63 percent said it impacts their overall emotional well-being
  • 72 percent of respondents suffer from itching, 70 percent from physical irritation and 59 percent from physical pain
  • 54 percent reported that their psoriasis is disfiguring
  • 43 percent of respondents aged 20-39 described their psoriasis as a “social embarrassment,” compared with 17 percent of respondents over the age of 40

The surveys had approximately 4,725 respondents, 75 percent of whom reported being diagnosed with moderate to severe psoriasis.

Dr. Susan C. Taylor, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and founding director of the Skin of Color Center at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals in New York City, says, “I regularly see patients who talk to me about how psoriasis negatively impacts their daily lives, including pain and itching, as well as challenges with clothing and fabric choices. I strongly urge people with psoriasis to visit a dermatologist and begin the dialogue about managing their condition – this simple conversation may be the first step in helping alleviate some of the physical and emotional burdens of this disease.”

About Addressing Psoriasis

Addressing Psoriasis™ was developed to inspire people with plaque psoriasis to actively manage their condition, be more confident and not allow the condition to inhibit their everyday style. Now in its second year, Addressing Psoriasis™ continues to raise public awareness and encourages patients to visit a dermatologist as the first step in managing the condition. Addressing Psoriasis™ is sponsored by Amgen and Pfizer with participation from the American Academy of Dermatology, the National Psoriasis Foundation, Psoriasis Cure Now, the Dermatology Nurses’ Association and the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants. To learn more about Addressing Psoriasis™ or to enter the contest, visit www.addresspsoriasis.com.

Entrants are asked to submit a photo and personal essay explaining how they have overcome or tried to overcome the challenges of living with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and how the condition has impacted their personal style and the clothing they wear. Additionally, entrants are asked to explain how Tim Gunn may help them overcome style challenges associated with psoriasis and present their best selves to the world. Entries will be judged based solely on the inspirational nature of their story, and not on the entrants' use of specific treatment options.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. See complete Official Rules for how to enter and restrictions. The Addressing Psoriasis™ Contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years of age or have reached the age of capacity to enter into contracts under the laws of their state and who have a confirmed medical diagnosis of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Contest begins at 12:00:00 (Midnight) AM Eastern Time ("ET") on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 and ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on Friday, April 30, 2010. Void outside the 50 United States and District of Columbia, and void where otherwise prohibited. To enter and view complete Official Rules, visit http://www.addresspsoriasis.com. Sponsored by Amgen Inc., One Amgen Center Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320 and Pfizer Inc., 235 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017.

About Amgen and Pfizer

Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.

Pfizer is the world's premier biopharmaceutical company. We discover, develop, manufacture and deliver quality, safe and effective medicines to treat and help prevent disease for both people and animals. We also partner with healthcare providers, governments and local communities to expand access to our medicines and to provide better quality health care and health system support. At Pfizer, colleagues around the world work every day to help people stay happier and healthier longer and to reduce the human and economic burden of disease worldwide. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at www.pfizer.com.

Wyeth is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer Inc. The merger of local Wyeth and Pfizer entities may be pending in various jurisdictions and integration is subject to completion of various local legal and regulatory obligations.

More information is available at www.pfizer.com.

Follow Pfizer on www.Twitter.com/pfizer_news.

About American Academy of Dermatology

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 16,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org.

About National Psoriasis Foundation

The National Psoriasis Foundation is the world’s largest organization serving people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Our mission is to find a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and to eliminate their devastating effects through research, advocacy and education. In addition to assisting more than 1.5 million people annually through educational programs and services, the Psoriasis Foundation is the largest charitable funder of psoriatic disease research and psoriasis patient advocacy organization worldwide. For more information, call the Psoriasis Foundation, headquartered in Portland, Ore., at 800.723.9166, or visit www.psoriasis.org.

About Psoriasis Cure Now

Psoriasis Cure Now is a nonprofit organization fueled by a nationwide network of volunteers. Our focus is on accelerating the search for a cure by mobilizing people in support of increased research funding for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. We also work to educate psoriasis patients about their treatment options, and educate the public about the seriousness of psoriasis. http://www.psoriasis-cure-now.org

About Dermatology Nurses’ Association

The Dermatology Nurses' Association is a professional nursing organization comprised of a diverse group of individuals committed to quality care through sharing knowledge and expertise. The core purpose of the DNA is to promote excellence in dermatologic care.

About Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants

The Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) is a non-profit professional organization that educates and advocates for its nationally certified physician assistants (PAs) who provide medical and cosmetic dermatologic care under the supervision of a Board Certified Dermatologist. PAs are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs perform a comprehensive range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in rural and urban settings. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and prescribe medications.

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