Daiichi Sankyo partners with Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation to draw attention to iron deficiency

Daiichi Sankyo
Daiichi Sankyo's latest awareness campaign pushes iron awareness to IBD patients. (Daiichi Sankyo)

A new disease awareness campaign from Daiichi Sankyo highlights iron deficits common in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Daiichi is working with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation on the campaign, called “Get Iron Informed,” to encourage patients with inflammatory bowel disease to get iron tested. An estimated 36% to 76% of people with IBD have iron-deficiency anemia (IDA).

“There are many types of inflammatory bowel disease, and the diseases are recognized from their GI perspective, but the comorbid condition of iron deficiency anemia is underappreciated. Through this collaboration at the Get Iron Informed website, patients are able to access easy-to-understand info resources and videos about IDA and the real value of knowing their iron levels,” said Linda Mundy, chief medical officer at Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, which is part of the Daiichi Sankyo group.

RELATED: AbbVie's silent IBD awareness ad sparks angry backlash but also draws support

Anemia is the most prevalent extraintestinal complication of IBD, according to research, and while patients know they have IBD, they may not know they have IDA. Anemia can only be diagnosed by a physician through blood testing and workup.

“Because it can be a bit complex in a patient population who may primarily be learning to deal with their IBD, this (campaign) gives them a structured series of resources about the condition, and that should help create the empowerment to have these conversations with their medical team,” Mundy said.

RELATED: Daiichi Sankyo takes another big whack at U.S. sales operations, cutting 280 jobs

While the new campaign does not mention specific products, Daiichi Sankyo makes two IV injection treatments for IDA: Injectafer, approved to treat iron deficiency anemia in adult patients who have intolerance to oral iron or have had unsatisfactory responses to oral iron, and Venofer, a first-line therapy in patients 2 years and older with chronic kidney disease.

The Japan-based drugmaker reported recently that it plans to “shift resources to maximize Injectafer” sales in the U.S. as it continues to refocus its business there. The company expected Injectafer sales of $300 million in the U.S. for 2017.