Kicking in for IBD, AbbVie partners with soccer champ Brandi Chastain on new campaign

U.S. soccer champion Brandi Chastain has a different kind of goal in mind these days.

The retired sports star is partnering with AbbVie in a new educational campaign for inflammatory bowel disease called My IBD Game Plan to offer management tools and support to patients and caregivers.

Chastain learned firsthand about the difficulties of managing IBD after her 10-year-old son was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease last year.

“Being an athletic family, we have a game plan and we implement that game plan. That makes sense to our athletic brains,” she said in a recently posted video on AbbVie’s website. “ is great. … It was amazing the empowerment I felt once I realized our family was not in this alone.”

Michael Norton, AbbVie’s vice president of AbbVie U.S. medical affairs, said in a press release that AbbVie wants everyone to “hear Brandi's personal story and hopefully to be motivated to create a plan with their doctor that will help them manage what can be a challenging disease.”

People living with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis can register online at the website to get educational information and support tools, such as a Restroom Request Card that can be used to discreetly communicate disease information when asking for access to a restricted restroom in an emergency.

Chastain said in a recent ESPN interview that she feels a responsibility to help people with IBD.

“Just like I had a responsibility to all the millions of young people, not just girls, who were playing soccer to be their advocate, to have a voice, to help them find their way, this is no different. My passion may be even deeper because it's my own son,” she said.

AbbVie is the maker of IBD biologic treatment Humira, which, with more than $14 billion in 2015 sales, is the world’s best-selling drug. Current competition includes Takeda’s Entyvio, Amgen's Enbrel, and Johnson & Johnson's Remicade and follow-up Simponi. But it also faces new competition in biosimilars, which are inching forward in the U.S. Amgen’s copycat product recently got another step closer to approval with a unanimous recommendation from an FDA review panel. Eli Lilly and Baxalta are also working on biosimiliar competitors.

- read AbbVie's press release
- watch Chastain’s video
- see the ESPN Q&A

Related Articles:
Takeda says Ka-Pow! to IBD in new Marvel comics campaign
Humira's 17% leap fuels AbbVie Q2 beats
Amgen's Humira biosim 'highly similar' to AbbVie original, FDA staffers say