Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are a major cause of chronic illness and disability in the United States and elsewhere.
They occur when the body’s immune system, which normally fights off bacteria and viruses, attacks healthy cells by mistake, causing inflammation and other problems. Research is underway to better understand why this happens and what treatments might be beneficial for specific groups of patients, including those with severe forms of disease whose symptoms persist despite standard medical therapies.
As a company working to manage complex challenges with innovative solutions, we’re making strides to better address the needs of underserved patients who need individualized treatment plans. We’re listening and engaging with patient communities to identify gaps in care and solutions for improving awareness of autoimmune diseases and how to best manage these chronic conditions. We’re committed to better understanding every patient’s unique challenges to help improve outcomes and maintain their health in the best ways possible.
“Every day we work to help patients, their loved ones and caregivers have options that can improve their lives. Our collaborations with the patient community help promote awareness, action and informed decision-making that can enhance care,” noted Tunde Otulana, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Mallinckrodt.
Living with an autoimmune disease can be a daily struggle and the ability to perform simple tasks like walking up steps, folding laundry, buttoning a shirt or driving may become challenging. Some patients require special accommodations that can make them feel stigmatized and misunderstood. Coping with an autoimmune disease can be overwhelming, affect a person’s emotional health and well-being, and impact families and loved ones. Patients frequently require support from caregivers along with physical or occupational therapy and other treatments.
Symptoms can appear and resolve or gradually worsen and may vary for every patient. Individuals often struggle with frustrating and confusing symptoms for years before getting an accurate diagnosis, which delays treatment and getting better. It’s critical for patients to seek treatment initially and when symptom flares occur. Treatment to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms may be different for each patient and it may help prevent permanent damage to the body. Frequently, managing a chronic illness requires support from family and friends, along with self-care, including proper nutrition, engaging in activities or hobbies, exercise and meditation.
As part of our commitment to patients, we proudly support national awareness months in May for rheumatoid arthritis, myositis and lupus. Working together, we can reduce the burden of illness for all patients, family members and caregivers who are affected by autoimmune disease.
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