THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and COLLEGEVILLE, Pa., March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
World-class professional golfer and psoriatic arthritis patient Phil Mickelson today launches "On Course with Phil," a disease education program for people with certain chronic inflammatory joint and skin conditions, in partnership with Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) and Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE). This program seeks to inspire patients with psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or plaque psoriasis to take action, educate themselves and work with a medical specialist to build a game plan that's right for them.
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Mickelson understands the importance of acting early. "After being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in the week following the 2010 U.S. Open, I immediately sought the help of a rheumatologist to learn about my condition," said Mickelson. "By getting an early diagnosis, I was able to start my treatment right away with the goal of helping to slow or stop the progression of irreversible damage to my joints. My experience has inspired me to motivate and empower others with chronic inflammatory joint and skin conditions to take action."
"On Course with Phil" also features the Joint Smart Coalition, a new effort between the Arthritis Foundation and the National Psoriasis Foundation, dedicated to people with psoriatic arthritis and to providing an empowering and educational resource for them and for people with other related chronic inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis and plaque psoriasis. Through "On Course with Phil" and the Joint Smart Coalition, people can learn more about the symptoms of chronic inflammatory conditions, Mickelson's personal experience with psoriatic arthritis and connect to important health information. The Joint Smart Coalition is made possible through a collaboration with Amgen and Pfizer.
Many people with psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or plaque psoriasis can remain undiagnosed or untreated. In diseases like psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, early diagnosis and treatment are critical, as joint damage can occur early. For people with plaque psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, skin inflammation can become a significant problem in their everyday lives.
"Like rheumatoid arthritis, people with psoriatic arthritis may experience pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints. Psoriatic arthritis patients may also have skin lesions that are similar to those seen in patients with plaque psoriasis," said Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., MPH, professor of medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. "As a rheumatologist, I see every day how debilitating these conditions can be for patients and their families - both physically and emotionally. It's crucial to see a specialist who can make the right diagnosis and help them manage their condition."
People experiencing joint pain, stiffness or swelling, or skin inflammation can go to OnCoursewithPhil.com to learn more about Phil's story and be connected to tools and resources that will help them take action and learn about ways to better manage their condition.
About "On Course with Phil"
"On Course with Phil" is an educational initiative with professional golfer Phil Mickelson designed to inspire people with psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and plaque psoriasis to take action, educate themselves and work with a medical specialist to build a game plan that's right for them. Through the program, patients can access important health information and learn more about Phil's story. "On Course with Phil" is sponsored by Amgen and Pfizer.
About Phil Mickelson
Following brilliant amateur and collegiate careers that included victories in the 1990 U.S. Amateur, three NCAA Individual championships and the 1991 Northern Telecom Open on the PGA Tour, Phil Mickelson joined the Tour in 1992. With his four major championship titles and 38 Tour wins, he ranks 11th on the all-time Tour winners list. Off the course, he is deeply involved with the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, which annually gives hundreds of teachers innovative ways to inspire their young students in math and science. He and his wife, Amy, also annually host Start Smart, which hosts 1,500 San Diego County elementary school children on a back-to-school shopping experience.
About the Joint Smart Coalition
The Joint Smart Coalition is a new effort between the Arthritis Foundation and the National Psoriasis Foundation, dedicated to people with psoriatic arthritis and to providing an empowering and educational resource for them and for people with other related chronic inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis and plaque psoriasis.
The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org) is the leading health organization addressing the needs of the 50 million Americans living with arthritis, the nation's leading cause of disability. The National Psoriasis Foundation (www.psoriasis.org) is the world's largest nonprofit patient advocacy organization dedicated to fighting psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and the voice for millions of Americans who are affected by these diseases.
The Joint Smart Coalition is made possible through a collaboration with 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, bone disease 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.
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world's best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world's leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at www.pfizer.com.
Amgen, Thousand Oaks
Kerry Beth Daly, 516-982-9328(media)
Victoria Davis, 212-733-3227 (media)