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New Campaign Wants Patients To Know "Iron Matters"

LEXINGTON, Mass., June 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In response to a recent national survey finding that three-quarters of Americans don't fully understand the role that iron plays in the body, 1 AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMAG) today announced the launch of Iron Matters™, a new campaign to help patients better understand the causes and impact of iron deficiency anemia (IDA). More than 4 million Americans have IDA, yet few understand the condition and limited educational resources exist on IDA, its underlying causes and the overall importance of iron's role in maintaining good health.

"Iron Matters offers patients and their caregivers a trustworthy resource for information on iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and the importance of maintaining healthy iron levels," said Cheryl Garrison, co-founder and executive director of the Iron Disorders Institute, a non-profit dedicated to informing the public about iron disorders. "We see firsthand the deep impact IDA can have on patients' daily lives and know that a well-informed patient is vital in today's health care environment. We welcome Iron Matters to the great challenge of changing attitudes of complacency around this often-ignored condition."

According to results from a May 2013 online survey, most adults recognize the important role of iron in the production of healthy red blood cells. 2 Nevertheless, IDA is often ignored, forcing patients to tolerate the chronic symptoms of anemia, including extreme fatigue, dizziness and irritability, among others. Moreover, many young women of child-bearing age, for whom iron is particularly critical, have little understanding of the role of iron in their health. 3

The underlying causes of IDA are diverse and can impact many different people, although the majority of those diagnosed with IDA are women. Over one and a half million IDA patients are estimated to have chronic kidney disease, while another 2.4 million suffer from anemia due to other causes such as abnormal uterine bleeding, gastrointestinal disorders, inflammatory diseases and chemotherapy-induced anemia. 4

AMAG's Iron Matters campaign will help patients and health care providers better understand and identify the symptoms and causes of IDA through a variety of educational resources and outreach activities, including:

  • First-of-its kind, patient-focused online information portal about IDA and the importance of iron
  • Regularly updated expert columns on various aspects of IDA, such as simple ways to boost your iron levels through diet and iron-rich recipes, written by leaders in nutrition, women's health, hematology and oncology and gastrointestinal conditions that lead to IDA
  • Compelling firsthand accounts of how real patients came to learn they had IDA and were able to overcome debilitating symptoms of the condition, in partnership with their health care providers
  • Tip sheets and frequently asked questions (FAQ) that health care providers can share directly with patients or that patients can download and print from the website
  • Educational opportunities for health care providers from fields most likely to come into contact with IDA, including gastroenterology, hematology/oncology and nephrology
  • Outreach and collaboration with third-party advocacy and medical groups whose missions are to arm patients, providers and caregivers with the latest scientific knowledge on relevant health conditions
  • Direct communication with medical and consumer media to help get the word out about resources available on IDA

"We know that iron deficiency anemia is a serious health problem, yet many patients continue to suffer needlessly," said William Heiden, president and chief executive officer of AMAG. "Our goal with the Iron Matters campaign is to help enable patients and health care providers to more easily recognize the effects and causes of IDA. We also hope Iron Matters will open an important dialogue between patients and their health care providers."

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