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Embargoed for release: 20 October, 2000 –
World Osteoporosis Day

INTERNATIONAL AWARD RECOGNIZES JOURNALISTS' ROLE IN INCREASING OSTEOPOROSIS AWARENESS

GENEVA, Switzerland, 20 October, 2000 – Osteoporosis, which affects one in three women worldwide, received a major boost today with the launch of an international media award that focuses on this widespread bone disease.

The IOF-Alliance Osteoporosis Media Award, sponsored by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and The Alliance for Better Bone Health (Aventis Pharma and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals), will honor journalists who write imaginative and effective articles about the disease.

Speaking at the launch of the award on World Osteoporosis Day, IOF Executive Director Mary Anderson explained that the award encourages journalists to communicate the importance of prevention, early detection, and rapid treatment of osteoporosis.

"Osteoporosis is one of the world's most common diseases in post-menopausal women, yet data show that it is severely under-recognized, under-diagnosed and under-treated," noted IOF President Pierre D. Delmas. "The IOF-Alliance Osteoporosis Media Award will help to educate the public and health care professionals about osteoporosis, and will honor the journalists who help communicate the importance of investing in better bone health."

The Toll Of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a disorder that weakens bones, is common among older adults, particularly postmenopausal women. The International Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that just one in two osteoporotic vertebral fractures are diagnosed. In Europe, expenditures for osteoporotic fractures total more than $10 billion each year in direct costs alone. Because of aging populations, the burden of the disease is likely to double within the next 50 years.

"Women can suffer several osteoporosis-related fractures before they realize they have the disease," said Marie-Noelle Antoine of The Alliance for Better Bone Health. "We want to increase public awareness and recognition of signs, symptoms, risks, and preventive measures for the disease. The high-quality journalistic efforts that this award encourages will help us to communicate the serious health risks associated with osteoporosis, and to spread the word about the need for prevention, early diagnosis and effective treatment."

Two Categories Of Awards

Awards will be given to journalists writing for general press and medical publications.

First prizes include a $5,000 cash award, all-expense paid trips to the World Osteoporosis Day 2001 press conference where the 2001 award ceremony will be held, and to the May 10-14, 2002 IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Articles must be published between July 1, 2000 and July 30, 2001. Deadline for applications is July 31, 2001. Articles are invited from journalists worldwide, and can be submitted in any language. Each article must be accompanied by a one to two paragraph English summary.

More details can be obtained by contacting

IOF secretariat
Tel: +33 4 72 91 41 77
Fax: +33 4 72 36 90 52
E-mail: info@osteofound.org

Karen Scott
Tel: +33 1 55 71 76 22
Fax: +33 1 55 71 43 83
E-mail: karen.scott@aventis.com

Eduardo Nuesch
Tel: +41 22 709 7192
Fax: +41 22 709 6164
E-mail: nuesch.e@pg.com

Editor's Note

About the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)

The International Osteoporosis Foundation is an umbrella organization dedicated to the worldwide fight against osteoporosis. It brings together scientists, physicians, patient activists and corporate partners. Working hand-in-hand with its 107 member societies in 60 countries and other health care-related organizations around the world, IOF encourages awareness and prevention, early detection, and improved treatment of osteoporosis. IOF motivates people to take charge of their own health and believes that this empowerment is the driving force behind the osteoporosis movement.

About The Alliance for Better Bone Health

Logo of The Alliance for Better Bone Health

Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Aventis Pharma AG formed The Alliance for Better Bone Health in May 1997. The innovative nature of the Alliance serves to advance the cutting edge of bone disease awareness, prevention, and treatment. Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals is a part of Procter & Gamble Health Care, a division of The Procter & Gamble Company, a global leader in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of a broad range of consumer goods. In prescription drugs, P&G is focusing on musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health, as well as anti-infective therapies. Aventis Pharma AG is the pharmaceutical company of Aventis S.A. Aventis Pharma is dedicated to treating and preventing human disease through the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of innovative pharmaceutical products aimed at satisfying unmet medical needs. Aventis was launched in December 1999 through the merger of Hoechst AG and Rhône-Poulenc S.A.

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