EISAI TACKLES STIGMA ASSOCIATED WITH EPILEPSY THROUGH SUPPORT OF COMIC BOOK ADDRESSING THE CONDITION

“Medikidz Explain Epilepsy” Aims to Help Children Better Understand the Disease

/ PRNewswire / — Eisai Inc., a leader in the epilepsy community, is proud to announce the availability of a first-of-its-kind comic book in the U.S. designed to educate children about epilepsy, a neurological condition that affects approximately 2.2 million people in the United States. “Medikidz Explain Epilepsy” tells a fictional story based on the experiences of 14-year-old Jack, who is navigating middle school while living with epilepsy. Jack is joined by a team of five superheroes (the “Medikidz”) on a mission to help explain epilepsy to children living with the condition, as well as their peers.
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A 2012 report on epilepsy issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) stated that lack of public awareness fuels widespread misperceptions and misinformation about the disease and called for increased efforts to educate the public about the condition. According to a recent survey, 36 percent of students with epilepsy reported keeping their condition a secret because they didn’t want to be treated differently, while 23 percent of their parents also chose not to disclose the diagnosis in an effort to protect their child from stigma. By supporting Medikidz, makers of comic books designed to help young people understand illness and medical concepts, Eisai hopes to help address that resource gap.

“There is a great need for age-appropriate, educational materials that can help children grasp very complex medical concepts in an easy-to-understand and compelling way,” said John R. Mytinger, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a peer reviewer of the book. “This book is an engaging and accessible tool that will equip families affected by epilepsy with the information they need to explain the condition and its impact on family, friends and peers.”

Authored by doctors and medical writers, the book’s content addresses the mechanics, diagnosis, and treatment of epilepsy and is peer-reviewed by leading medical professionals and endorsed by prominent organizations in the epilepsy community: the Epilepsy Foundation, Epilepsy Therapy Project and Child Neurology Foundation. The book will be available free of charge at www.eisaiepilepsy.com.

“Eisai is pleased to have the opportunity to help contribute to the critical mission of spreading awareness and understanding of epilepsy in the U.S. The IOM report underscores stigma as a very real issue affecting the lives of epilepsy patients—especially children,” said Christine Verini, VP of Corporate Communications and Advocacy at Eisai Inc. “As a company, we focus on putting our patients first—we call it human health care (hhc)—so we’re delighted to launch this book at the start of Epilepsy Awareness month to help increase public awareness about this disease.”

About Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. According to the Institute of Medicine, epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, affecting 2.2 million people in the United States. About 60 percent of people with epilepsy have partial-onset seizures. In about 30 percent of these patients, the seizures remain uncontrolled with current treatment.

Epilepsy is a therapeutic area of focus for Eisai. The company continues to make further contributions to help address the diversified needs of epilepsy patients and their families as part of its corporate human health care (hhc) mission.

Eisai Inc.
At Eisai Inc., human health care is our goal. We give our first thoughts to patients and their families, and helping to increase the benefits health care provides. As the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., our passionate commitment to patient care is the driving force behind our efforts to help address unmet medical needs. We are a fully integrated pharmaceutical business with discovery, clinical, manufacturing and marketing capabilities. Our key areas of commercial focus include oncology and specialty care (Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and metabolic disorders). To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit us at www.eisai.com/US.

Eisai Inc. has affiliates that are part of a global product creation organization that includes R&D facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as a global demand chain organization that includes manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. Eisai’s global areas of R&D focus include neuroscience; oncology; metabolic disorders; vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction; and antibody-based programs.

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Media Inquiries

Laurie Landau
Eisai Inc.
201-746-2510
Laurie_Landau@eisai.com