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Say Something: At the launch of the AbbVie and Irish Skin Foundation #SaySomething Campaign, on www.irishskinfoundation.ie to assist psoriasis patients communicate better with their doctor, were from left, Dr. Anne Marie Tobin, Consultant Dermatologist, Tallaght Hospital, Caroline Irwin, Psoriasis Patient and Board Member, Irish Skin Foundation, Jay Cusack, Immunology Marketing Director, AbbVie, and Michelle Greenwood, Dermatology Nurse, Tallaght Hospital.

Press Release: 29th October 2014

#SaySomething Campaign launched to assist Irish psoriasis sufferers.

New patient resource includes film and diagnostic questionnaire.

Most healthcare professionals including Dermatologists underestimate the effects of psoriasis on people’s lives says Professor Brian Kirby, Consultant Dermatologist, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin.

The Irish Skin Foundation has announced the launch of the #SaySomething campaign to mark World Psoriasis Day, Wednesday 29th October 2014.

The #SaySomething initiative, which is supported by AbbVie, features a short on-line film which encourages patients to become involved in controlling their psoriasis by speaking openly to their doctor about all of their symptoms.

A new analysis of the impact of psoriasis in Ireland, released to mark today’s World Psoriasis Day, has suggested that almost one in four people with the illness suffer from depression at some stage in their disease.[1]

People with the disease are more prone to getting high blood pressure and should have this checked regularly.[2] Up to 30% of people in Ireland with moderate to severe psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. It is recommended that doctors ask all patients with psoriasis about joint discomfort.[3]

The #SaySomething film which can be viewed on the Irish Skin Foundation website at www.irishskinfoundation.ie aims to assist psoriasis patients and their GPs develop a greater understanding of this skin condition which affects a significant number of people in Ireland and worldwide.

As well as the new film, a self-assessment form is available on the website to help sufferers communicate the true impact of the disease in discussions with their GPs and, where appropriate, arrange referral to a Consultant Dermatologist.

Prof Brian Kirby, a Dublin-based Consultant Dermatologist, said: “Stark statistics similar to the data highlighted today is what recently persuaded the World Health Organisation (WHO) to adopt a special resolution acknowledging that psoriasis can have serious physical as well as psychological implications for the individual.”

“Psoriasis is a persistent inflammatory condition that has an impact on sufferers that is frequently underestimated or unrecognised. It should never be characterised as a ‘bit of a rash’. It remains a highly stigmatised condition, not least due to a significant knowledge gap amongst the general population, and many who experience psoriasis carry a heavy burden, often suffering in silence. It’s important that they know that resources and support are available from the Irish Skin Foundation.”

Dr Anne Marie Tobin, Consultant Dermatologist, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, also supports the #SaySomething campaign. She believes the severity of the internal and external stigma faced by those with psoriasis leads to hidden health threats. Patients with moderate to severe psoriasis have an increased risk of several medical conditions that may be underpinned by systemic inflammation.

It is estimated that 100,000 in Ireland people suffer with chronic plaque psoriasis.[4]

Speaking on behalf of psoriasis patients, Caroline Irwin, Board Member of the Irish Skin Foundation and herself a psoriasis patient said, “This is the first time that a digital campaign to assist psoriasis sufferers has been launched in Ireland. On behalf of all psoriasis patients, I welcome this initiative taken by the Irish Skin Foundation and AbbVie. I have no doubt it will greatly improve communication channels between both the psoriasis patient and their doctor, resulting in the better treatment of this skin condition for all concerned.”

Speaking at the launch of the #SaySomething campaign, Professor Eoin O’Brien, Chairman, Irish Skin Foundation said how pleased he was that the Irish Skin Foundation is working in partnership with AbbVie to develop this campaign for psoriasis sufferers.

Our mission, he added, is to support people with all skin conditions in Ireland and this digital film campaign assists us to engage more effectively with psoriasis patients, so that working together, skin health can be improved for all.

Speaking on behalf of AbbVie in Ireland, Immunology Marketing Director Jay Cusack said: “Research has consistently indicated that the stigma experienced by those with psoriasis is significant. We are delighted to be able to assist in the development of resources that can help people with psoriasis raise and communicate the extent of the disease burden they feel with their doctor.”

About the Irish Skin Foundation

The Irish Skin Foundation was founded in 2011 with the purpose of informing and assisting patients with all forms of skin disease, which afflict about a third of the Irish population.

Modern science has revolutionised the treatment of skin disease and the Irish Skin Foundation, through its close collaboration with the Charles Institute in University College Dublin-a unique centre dedicated to research into skin disease-intends to accelerate the application of research to patients as quickly as possible.

About AbbVie Limited

AbbVie is a global research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott. It employs more than 400 people at five manufacturing and commercial sites across Ireland. The company’s commercial headquarters is based in Dublin as is a separate international manufacturing and engineering services centre. AbbVie has two manufacturing plants in Sligo and one in Cork. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world’s most complex and serious diseases. AbbVie employs approximately 25,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries.

For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.

For further information contact:

Mary FitzGerald
PR Consultant-Irish Skin Foundation and AbbVie #Say Something Campaign
Tel: + 353 1-678-7916
Mobile: + 353 86-252-0181
Email: info@maryfitzgeraldpr.ie

Robert Love
Head of Communications, AbbVie Limited
Tel: +353 1-428-7971
Mobile: +353 87-737-7524
OTHER: +353 1 843-4360
EMAIL: robert.a.love@abbvie.com

[1] Prof Brian Kirby

[2] Cardiovascular Risk in Patients with Psoriatic Arthritis, Tracy Y. Zhu, Edmund K. Li, and Lai-Shan Tam. International Journal of Rheumatology, Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 714321, 11 pages

[3] High prevalence of psoriatic arthritis in patients with severe psoriasis with suboptimal performance of screening questionnaires. Haroon M, Kirby B. Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 May;72(5):736-40.

[4] ISF Website

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