Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) wholly owned subsidiary Salix is fostering a new two-way conversation between health care providers and irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) patients: a national education campaign called “Let’s Talk 2.” The goal here is to encourage patients, giving them the confidence ‘2’ talk more openly with their health care providers about IBS-D and its correlated symptoms.
Set to kick-off in April for IBS Awareness Month, the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) – steered by the very founders behind IBS Awareness Month – is endorsing the campaign.
“Up to 16 million Americans suffer with IBS-D, and they often live with debilitating symptoms, including abdominal pain and diarrhea, for years before being correctly diagnosed,” said Mark McKenna, senior vice president and general manager, Salix Pharmaceuticals. “Let’s Talk 2 is designed to help patients better communicate with their health care providers, as we believe that better two-way conversations can help lead to better patient outcomes.”
To kick off the campaign, Salix has created Letstalk-2.com, a new web site where patients can go for more information on IBS-D, including common triggers, possible causes, different treatments and tips on how to prepare for discussions with health care providers.
“We are so pleased to endorse the Let’s Talk 2 campaign, created and led by such a leader in gastroenterology as Salix, on this important initiative to educate Americans about IBS,” said Ceciel Rooker, executive director, IFFGD. “The campaign and resources will support our shared goal of helping people go from symptom onset to diagnosis much faster by educating around the potential causes and symptoms of IBS-D, and encouraging more direct conversations with physicians.”
According to research published in 2017 in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, many IBS patients reported feeling stigmatized; health care providers should be aware of the presence of stigma in IBS patients.
“Patients may feel embarrassed to discuss their bowel habits, especially when there is a diarrheal component, however it’s important that doctors know all the details of their patients’ symptoms in order to provide them with the best treatment option,” said Mark Pimentel, M.D., program director, Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) Program, Cedars-Sinai. “Patients should pay close attention to any changes in their bowel habits, such as an urgent need to use the bathroom and abdominal pain, as these can be signs of IBS-D.”
Let’s Talk 2 is one of several initiatives from Salix designed to drive awareness of and education about IBS-D. Salix will also host several events across the nation to educate both patients and health care providers about the importance of raising the conversation about IBS-D.
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