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JOURNALISTS PRESENTED WITH INTERNATIONAL AWARD ON WORLD OSTEOPOROSIS DAY

Premier Award recognizes excellence in osteoporosis reporting

ROME, Italy
19 October 2001

Three journalists were awarded international honors today for their efforts to raise awareness about osteoporosis. The winners of 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) were announced at a World Osteoporosis Day media seminar in Rome, Italy.

"We are happy to announce that the winners of the IOF-Alliance Osteoporosis Media Award are Ann Graul and Lisa Sorbera, journalists writing for Drug R&D Backgrounders, a medical publication in Barcelona, Spain and Alma America Torres, a journalist writing for Good Housekeeping, Latin America, a general press publication in Mexico City, Mexico," said IOF Chief Executive Officer Daniel Navid. "It is a privilege to present these talented journalists with the award, which is meant to honor the important role the media play in raising awareness about prevention, early detection, and rapid, effective treatment of osteoporosis."

Ann Graul and Lisa Sorbera's article focused on newer treatments for osteoporosis, providing key information for the medical community on recent advancements and how to better work with patients to prevent and manage osteoporosis. Alma America Torres developed a creative article aimed at educating and creating awareness for Osteoporosis along with steps to prevent the disease .

"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. "We commend all the journalists who participated in this award today, because they are part of a valuable effort to educate the public and health care professionals about osteoporosis."

The Toll Of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a disorder that weakens bones, is common among older adults, particularly postmenopausal women. The IOF estimates that just one in two osteoporotic vertebral fractures are diagnosed1. In Europe and the United States, annual direct medical costs to treat 2.3 million osteoporosis fractures total approximately $27 million each year2. Because of aging populations, the burden of the disease is likely to double within the next 50 years3.

"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. "Our aim in working with the IOF to develop this award for journalists is to increase public awareness and recognition of signs, symptoms, risks, and preventive measures for the disease. The high-quality journalistic efforts we have seen in the many entries received for the award help to educate the public about the serious health risks associated with osteoporosis, and to spread the word about the need for prevention, early diagnosis and effective treatment."

The IOF-Alliance Osteoporosis Media Award

Award entries from 26 countries were evaluated by three expert judges: Professor Rene Rizzoli, chairman of IOF's Committee of Scientific Advisors; Angela Rippon, BBC journalist; and Geoffroy de Rosamel, General Manager of the Alliance. Criteria for winning the award was based primarily on how imaginatively and effectively the journalists stimulated public awareness about osteoporosis. First prizes in both the medical and general press categories include a $5,000 cash award, all-expense paid trips to the World Osteoporosis Day 2001 and to the May 10-14, 2002 IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis, in Lisbon, Portugal. All three journalists will receive their awards at the annual World Osteoporosis Day international media seminar in Rome, Italy.

The following journalists received an IOF-Alliance Osteoporosis Media Award Certificate of Recognition for the excellent entries they submitted:

  • Greta Frankenfeld, Revista Mia, Argentina
  • Guadalupe Henestros, Nueva, Argentina
  • Khalaf Colette, Femme Magazine, Lebanon
  • Gianna Milano, Panorome, Italy
  • Owen Santos, Prevention Magazine, Philippines
  • Revital Braha Federboosh, "AT" Magazine, Israel
  • Una Perez Ruiz, Harper's Bazaar Latinamerica, Mexico
  • Carolyn Schatz and Ann-Marie Dadoly, Harvardwomen's Healthwatch, USA
  • Harriett Ainley, Family Medicine, England
  • Hannelore Giessen, Rheuma-Journal, Germany
  • Mariana Tineo dos Santos, Revista Medico Reporter, Brazil
  • Leyla Ataman, Medical Line, Turkey
  • Nibal Zgheib, AL Afkar, Lebanon
  • Kymberly Martin, Australian Journal of Pharmacy, Australia
  • Zoya Zaharieva-Tsankova, Az-Buki, Bulgaria
  • Shawn O'Leary, Health Surfing.com, USA

Editor's Note

Journalist interested in submitting entries for the 2nd IOF-Alliance Osteoporosis Media Award should contact Melissa Selcow at (212) 885-0503 or mselcow@hillandknowlton.com, for information and an application.

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 124 member societies in 64 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. For more information: www.osteofound.org

About 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.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Sochaczewski
Tel: +41 22 994 01 00
Fax: +41 22 994 01 01
E-mail: psochaczewski@osteofound.org

Christine Kirby
Tel: +1 908 541 5147
Fax: +1 908 541 4685
E-mail: Christine.Kirby@aventis.com

References:

  1. International Osteoporosis Foundation. Osteoporosis Facts. Available at www.osteofound.org/press_centre/fact_sheet.html. Accessed October 8, 2001.
  2. International Osteoporosis Foundation. Osteoporosis Facts. Available at www.osteofound.org/press_centre/fact_sheet.html. Accessed October 8, 2001.
  3. Delmas, P.D., Fraser, M., European Union Challenges Member States to Fight the 'Silent Epidemic' of Osteoporosis. Eurohealth, Vol. 4, No. 4, Autumn 1998. [International Osteoporosis Foundation Web site]. Available at: www.osteofound.org/press_centre/pdf/oste_in_europe.pdf. Accessed October 8, 2001.

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