May 31 is World MS Day. In its honor, Teva Pharmaceuticals Europe has launched “Life Moments with MS” — a social media campaign to raise awareness about the challenges people with multiple sclerosis (MS) face every day.
Teva’s campaign, which uses the hashtag #LifeMomentswithMS, also includes educational resources on what it’s like to live with MS, while encouraging dialogue among MS patients and their doctors. Anyone interested can follow the campaign on Teva’s Facebook and Twitter accounts using either #LifewithMS or #LifeMomentswithMS.
Currently, more than 700,000 Europeans have MS, according to the Brussels-based European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP). Important life events such as changing jobs, getting married and starting a family can interfere with treatment. Pregnancy, for example, can have a direct impact on dosing regimen, with evidence showing that 35 percent of women with MS are delaying the decision to have children.
Patients and healthcare providers need open lines of communication to ensure that people with MS have the knowledge and skills to maintain proper long-term MS therapy.
“The EMSP is dedicated to increasing the quality of life of those living with MS,” EMSP President Anne Winslow said in a press release. “World MS Day provides us with an opportunity to remind people with MS and the broader MS community that knowledge is power, and with the right information and support, it’s possible to manage the condition and focus on what else may be happening in your life.”
The MS International Federation (MSIF) and its members initiated the first World MS Day in 2009. Events and campaigns take place throughout the month of May to unite the global MS community to share stories and raise awareness. The London-based MSIF offers a toolkit of free resources to help everyone take part in World MS Day, with the goal of encouraging anyone with MS to take control of major life decisions.
Though Israel’s Teva is mainly a generic drug producer, it also manufactures the MS medication Copaxone, which last year accounted for 19 percent of Teva’s revenues.
“Teva is committed to providing effective solutions for people with MS,” said Tomas Boeckx, head of the company’s CNS Europe unit. “We’re pleased to support World MS Day and hope this social media campaign will support people with MS in having informed discussions with their healthcare providers. Starting a family is just one of the key life milestones that can present challenges to someone living with MS. Education and ongoing dialogue are vital to ensuring people with MS have the necessary information to help equip them to make an informed decision about how best to manage their condition and improve their quality of life.”