Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee teams up with AstraZeneca to raise awareness about opioid-induced constipation

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Joyner-Kersee “sets the record straight” about OIC after her personal struggle with this uncomfortable condition.

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) and Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. today announced that they have partnered with six-time Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee to increase awareness of opioid-induced constipation (OIC).

Joyner-Kersee speaks candidly about her struggle with OIC after taking opioid medication prescribed by her healthcare provider to help manage pain stemming from years of training to compete in the Long Jump and Heptathlon that earned her three gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals at four different Olympic Games.

“While the opioids helped manage the pain, I noticed I became constipated frequently – but I tried to ignore it,” said Joyner-Kersee. “However, it was taking such an emotional and physical toll that I finally had to work up the nerve to talk to my healthcare provider, and it wasn’t until then that I learned I had opioid-induced constipation or OIC. After coming to this realization, I felt it important to work to raise awareness about OIC alongside AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo. We encourage those who may be impacted by OIC to talk to their healthcare provider and visit www.ohisee.com, a community that helps OIC sufferers and their caregivers better understand and manage this uncomfortable condition.”

Joyner-Kersee is not alone in her symptoms. OIC is one of the most commonly reported side effects of opioid therapy and can last for the length of treatment. About 40 percent of patients in clinical trials taking opioids developed this side effect. Symptoms of OIC may include reduced bowel movement frequency, straining, incomplete evacuation and hard or soft stools. People suffering from OIC may also complain that they feel bloated or are experiencing abdominal pain and have difficulty producing a bowel movement. Sufferers may also feel like they need to use the bathroom but are unable to pass a bowel movement.

“Due to the sensitive and personal nature of the condition, some people may be reluctant to have a conversation about opioid-induced constipation or OIC,” said Cathy Datto, US Medical Lead at AstraZeneca. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Jackie and grateful that she’s willing to share her story in an effort to encourage others who may be struggling with OIC to seek support and talk to their healthcare providers.”

If you think that you or someone you care for may be suffering from OIC, talk to your healthcare provider. Please also visit www.ohisee.com. Through personal stories, expert advice, and educational resources, this community aims to help OIC sufferers and their caregivers better understand and manage this uncomfortable condition.

About Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie’s exceptional talent, ability, dedication and determination led the way to her receiving a basketball scholarship to the University of California Los Angeles, UCLA. Her standout performances as a basketball player made an even greater impact on her talent as a Track and Field star.

Today, Jackie is regarded as the Greatest Female Athlete of all-time; Sports Illustrated for Woman voted Jackie the best Female Athlete of the 20th century; ESPN named her one of the 50 Greatest Athletes of all-time. Jackie is the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the Heptathlon; she is the first woman to score 7,000 points in the Heptathlon and the first woman to win an Olympic Gold in the Long Jump. Having competed in 4 consecutive Olympics, Jackie won 3 gold medals, 1 silver and 2 bronze.

Additional accolades include: Winner of the Jessie Owens Award; Sullivan Award; Volunteers of America Humanitarian Award, the Trumpet; and CORE Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is also the recipient of six honorary doctorates.

Her vision to open the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center was realized in 2000. The center provides educational and recreational activities to thousands of families, youth and adults by providing after-school tutoring, youth sports leagues, nutrition and health education, and fitness and meals for seniors. Her autobiography, A Kind of Grace, has become a part of her motivational presentations which she delivers throughout the country as one of the great motivational speakers in the Speakers Circuit. Her goal is to bring awareness and raise funds for causes and initiatives she is passionate about.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com.  

About Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.

Daiichi Sankyo Group is dedicated to the creation and supply of innovative pharmaceutical products to address the diversified, unmet medical needs of patients in both mature and emerging markets. While maintaining its portfolio of marketed pharmaceuticals for hypertension, dyslipidemia and bacterial infections used by patients around the world, the Group has also launched treatments for thrombotic disorders and is building new product franchises. Furthermore, Daiichi Sankyo research and development is focused on bringing forth novel therapies in oncology and cardiovascular-metabolic diseases, including biologics. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, is a member of the Daiichi Sankyo Group. For more information on Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., please visit www.dsi.com.


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