TITUSVILLE, NJ, November 4, 2022 – The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson today announced the first impact summary for its Save Legs. Change Lives.™ Spot Peripheral Artery Disease Now multi-year initiative, designed to create urgency and action around the hidden threat of peripheral artery disease (PAD)-related amputation. In its inaugural year, Save Legs. Change Lives.™ focused on reaching Black Americans, who are up to four times more likely than white Americans to have a PAD-related amputation.1 With this critical initiative, Janssen is focused on helping those at risk of PAD through more than 12 programs across three focus areas: empowering individuals and communities placed at an increased risk of PAD, collaborating with powerful partners, and driving research.
“We are already seeing the power of Save Legs. Change Lives.™ to systemically break down barriers and usher in a new era of healthcare – one that is more diverse, harnesses equity and ensures inclusive PAD care for all,” said Richard Browne, MD, FACC, Senior Medical Executive, Health Systems Strategy and Leader of the Cardiovascular Health Equity Advisory Council, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC. “We’ve shared PAD information with millions of people, implemented thousands of free screenings, and are advancing research that gets to the heart of inequities that drive increased risk of PAD-related amputations within the Black community. And we are just getting started.”
Empowering Individuals and Communities to Change the Trajectory of Their Health
Grassroots efforts that drive PAD awareness, education, and screening are at the heart of real, tangible change needed to help lower the risk of PAD-related amputations.
“I was lucky my daughter spotted discoloring in my toe early enough that I avoided an amputation following my PAD diagnosis. I chose action and it changed my life. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to educate as many people as I can, especially other Black Americans, about PAD and the health disparities,” said PAD patient advocate and Janssen Change Network Steering Committee member, Pamela Parker.* “Don’t just stand by when it comes to your health. Get educated, speak up, take action, and get screened.”
Research shows many people who undergo non-traumatic amputations as a result of PAD did not have prior screenings.3 One simple and non-invasive type of PAD screening is an ankle brachial index (ABI) test that measures blood pressure in the ankle and compares it with blood pressure in the upper arm.4 Janssen’s empower™PAD mobile unit has been traveling across the United States to provide more than 3,200 free PAD screenings. At one stop on the South Side of Chicago, Janssen partnered with The Balm In Gilead™, a faith-based organization engaged in eliminating health disparities, to bring the full power of Save Legs. Change Lives.™ directly to a community with increased risk of PAD. Awareness was built through local radio stations and partnerships with local community organizations, resulting in 750 Chicagoans participating in educational sessions about PAD and more than 650 people (92 percent of whom were Black Americans) receiving a free PAD screening.
“Alarmingly, 35 percent of those screened at our Chicago event received a positive ABI test—more than double the national average (14 percent)5,” said Dr. Pernessa Seele**, Founder and CEO, The Balm In Gilead, Inc. “It’s a true testament to why we partnered with Janssen at the forefront of change where we are seeing a clear need for bringing more screenings into communities like the South Side of Chicago to ultimately save legs and change lives.”
Additional grassroots efforts such as Healthy Directions, designed to raise awareness about PAD with Black Americans and communities of color; awareness walks; newspaper and radio partnerships; and the Health Advocates In-Reach and Research (HAIR) barbershop trainings, as well as new downloadable PAD resources are igniting conversations and educating communities across the United States on how to spot symptoms of PAD.
Collaborating with Powerful Partners to Break Down Barriers to Equitable Care
Through Save Legs. Change Lives.™, Janssen is collaborating with powerful partners, including universities, health systems, non-governmental organizations, and change makers to break down barriers to equitable and inclusive care, ranging from access and health literacy to health-care provider diversity. In partnership with the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s “Change the FIELD,” Janssen sponsored the inaugural class of future healthcare practitioners consisting of more than 50 percent women, 34 percent Black Americans, and 14 percent Hispanic Americans. This important program is committed to helping educate, sponsor, and offer mentorship to historically underrepresented groups in the field of cardiology. Additionally, the Company, through Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, is proud to help support the American Heart Association’s PAD National Action Plan, which aims to reduce PAD-related amputations. Most recently, Janssen partnered with the Association of Black Cardiologists to support its Community Health Advocate Training (CHAT) Program which empowers community health workers and other advocates to promote heart health and drive grassroots policy work in the places they live, work, socialize, and worship. Finally, to continue leading health equity efforts in cardiovascular care, Janssen established the Cardiovascular Health Equity Advisory Council, which will convene top experts across the field of PAD to guide solution-oriented discussions that drive programs and help maximize impact across the patient and healthcare provider communities.
Driving Research that Uncovers Systemic Bias and Patient Needs to Propel Change
Janssen is supporting, sponsoring, and sharing evidence-based research such as the PAD Health Equity Assessment Tracker (HEATMap), a comprehensive data-based tool developed to help identify U.S. counties experiencing racial health inequities in PAD, which has resulted in community-based, solution-oriented conversations with more than 40 healthcare providers and health systems. Further real-world research and purpose papers that offer clinical insights and best practice in PAD care will be released later this quarter and throughout 2023.
Visit SaveLegsChangeLives.com to learn more about PAD and the programs that Janssen and its partners are driving to collectively and systemically advance equitable care and actualize the common goal of reducing PAD-related amputations.
Save Legs. Change Lives.™ is part of Johnson & Johnson’s broader initiative, Our Race to Health Equity (ORTHE), an enterprise-wide commitment to help eradicate racial and social injustice as a public health threat. Johnson & Johnson is working to change the culture of healthcare so that the color of one's skin does not determine their access to care, quality of care or health outcomes.
About Health Inequities in Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
PAD affects up to 12 million Americans6,7 and is an often unknown, unseen, and undertreated cardiovascular condition.8 This common condition causes blood vessels to narrow, thereby reducing blood flow to the limbs, most often the legs.9 If left untreated, PAD can lead to serious events including heart attack, stroke, acute limb ischemia or amputation.9
There are more than 400 amputations each day in the U.S. and PAD is a leading cause.1 Tragically, 70 percent of people who have a PAD-related leg amputation die within three years.10
This is especially alarming for Black Americans, who are up to four times more likely than white Americans to have a PAD-related amputation.1 Disproportionate rates of PAD-related amputation are a result of Black Americans being twice as likely to have PAD,11 with less access to quality vascular care1 and greater risk for delays in care.2 These patterns are not a recent phenomenon and have not significantly changed over the last two decades. That is why Save Legs. Change Lives.™ is initially focused on reaching Black Americans.
About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
At Janssen, we’re creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We’re the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart. We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Pulmonary Hypertension.
Learn more at www.janssen.com. Follow us at www.twitter.com/JanssenUS and https://twitter.com/JanssenGlobal. Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, is part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, any of the other Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: challenges and uncertainties inherent in product research and development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and of obtaining regulatory approvals; uncertainty of commercial success; manufacturing difficulties and delays; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges to patents; product efficacy or safety concerns resulting in product recalls or regulatory action; changes in behavior and spending patterns of purchasers of health care products and services; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2022, including in the sections captioned “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” and in Johnson & Johnson’s subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. None of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.
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*Pamela Parker has been a paid consultant to Janssen; she has not been paid for contributing to this press release.
**The Balm In Gilead, Inc. was provided a grant to help support their PAD disease awareness program.