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NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2014
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
One Health Plaza
East Hanover, NJ 07936-1080
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Novartis teams up with multiple sclerosis advocate and musician David Osmond to launch MS education initiative Our Voice in Song™
Through music and resources Our Voice in Song™ inspires people living with relapsing MS to become more active managers of their disease
Initiative launches with nationwide release of “I Can Do This,” a new song by Osmond to unite the MS community – available for free on www.ourvoiceinsong.com
Osmond shares his own journey living with the disease and kicks off multi-city tour with performances around the country
MS, an unpredictable, chronic disease of the central nervous system often diagnosed during the prime of one’s life, affects about 400,000 Americans and can lead to disability
EAST HANOVER, N.J., October 21, 2014 -- Today Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation launched a new multifaceted multiple sclerosis (MS) awareness campaign aimed to motivate people with relapsing MS to take charge of their disease. The campaign, Our Voice in Song™, features inspirational advocate and music artist David Osmond, who is debuting an original song, “I Can Do This.” The campaign serves to empower the MS community by providing resources for people to learn more about relapsing MS, including tips on how to actively manage the condition, and questions people can ask healthcare practitioners to advocate for themselves and help optimize care.
“Music motivates people and song conveys my feelings in ways that words alone cannot,” explained David, a member of the iconic musical Osmond family. “I wrote ‘I Can Do This’ to inspire people with relapsing MS to do more than simply cope with the disease, and not let their relapsing MS define them. The language of music is universal and I hope that listeners share the song so its message may encourage people to draw upon their own inner strength to meet life’s challenges head-on.”
The song was inspired by David’s own journey living with relapsing MS and the advice he received from his family. Like many with relapsing MS, David felt denial, confusion and even anger when he was first diagnosed. “I can do this” became a personal mantra that he has drawn on over the years to remind him of his own inner strength and to not live in the shadows of this disease. He wrote this deeply personal song as a way to unite the MS community and to encourage others to share their support for people with relapsing MS.
“I Can Do This” will debut on national music television network, Fuse’s Top-20 Countdown and on www.ourvoiceinsong.com, as well as on YouTube.
People are encouraged to visit www.ourvoiceinsong.com to download and share the song for free and learn more about David’s journey.
David will also be honored this month by Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, a leading patient advocacy organization. David will receive the 2014 Can Do Award on October 23 in New York City for making significant contributions to improving the lives of people with MS. He will begin a multi-city tour next month to share his motivational story and perform his new song at local MS community events.
“This is an exciting time for relapsing MS due to the continued breakthroughs in research. Traditionally, patients who take disease-modifying therapies had the options of injections or infusions. Now, there are oral options, which some patients may prefer,” explained Shanan Munoz, M.D., Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at The University of Texas Southwestern. “Relapsing MS is a potentially debilitating disease and relapses may lead to disability progression, so it is important for patients to be well informed with accurate information, know their options, and work in partnership with their physician to treat relapsing MS early and effectively.”
“We are proud to be part of such a strong, courageous community working together to change the way people are living with MS,” said Christi Shaw, President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. “David’s outlook, optimism and determination capture the spirit of today’s empowered patient, who actively manages the disease and lives a life that isn’t defined by MS.”
MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system (CNS), in which the immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue.2 MS attacks the CNS – the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves – affecting the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other.1 Symptoms are unpredictable and vary from person to person including fatigue, pain, muscle weakness, difficulty walking and limited mobility.1,2 MS affects around 400,000 people in the U.S., with relapsing MS being the most common form of the disease.2-4
About David Osmond
David Osmond is a solo music artist, Broadway performer, motivational speaker and lead singer of “The Osmonds 2nd Generation,” a band comprised of ‘70s pop star, Alan Osmond’s sons. He has performed before sold out stadiums in over 17 countries and has had three top 40 hits in the UK with the 2nd Generation. David is married, the father of two daughters, and nephew of Donny and Marie Osmond, musicians and hosts of the ‘70s variety show, Donny and Marie. As a long-standing advocate since his diagnosis of relapsing MS in 2006, he has received multiple awards for his commitment to the MS community.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative medicines aimed at improving patients' lives. We offer a broad range of medicines for cancer, cardiovascular disease, endocrine disease, inflammatory disease, infectious disease, neurological disease, organ transplantation, psychiatric disease, respiratory disease and skin conditions. The company's mission is to improve people's lives by pioneering novel healthcare solutions.
Located in East Hanover, New Jersey, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2013, the Group achieved net sales of USD 57.9 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 135,000 full-time-equivalent associates and sell products in more than 150 countries around the world.
For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.
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1. National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Multiple sclerosis FAQs. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/MS-FAQ-s#question-What-is-multiple-sclerosis. Accessed July 1, 2014.
2. Multiple Sclerosis Association of America website. Frequently asked questions about multiple sclerosis. http://www.mymsaa.org/about-ms/faq/. Accessed July 1, 2014.
3. National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. MS prevalence. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-the-society/ms-prevalence/index.aspx. Accessed July 1, 2014.
4. National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Types-of-MS/Relapsing-remitting-MS. Accessed July 30, 2014.
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