ZUG, Switzerland, June 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Amgen announced today the results of a new European survey of people suffering from a rare blood disorder called immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) shows that one in four feels the impact of the condition on their daily lives is severe, causing them anxiety and concern. ITP is a rare, serious and often chronic immune disorder characterised by low platelet counts in the blood.
The survey also shows that two-thirds of people in the six countries surveyed would like to have more healthcare professional advice and expert information than they are currently receiving, to help them better manage their condition.
Adult chronic ITP affects an estimated 2.0 per 100,000 patients in the European Union (EU), (1,2) and is a rare and serious autoimmune disorder characterised by low platelet counts in the blood (thrombocytopenia), which can lead to severe bleeding events. ITP occurs when immune system cells (specialised lymphocytes) produce antibodies that cause the destruction of platelets in the spleen and other organs. The specific cause of ITP is unknown and in most adults it is a chronic condition.
Notes to Editors About the ITP Patient Experience Survey(3) - The survey was conducted by Kantar Health in 158 ITP patients in six European countries: UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. - The data was collected via a semi-structured questionnaire of 15 minutes duration with a mixture of telephone and face-to-face interviews and online responses, depending on the country. - Nearly three quarters of the patients were female and their mean age was 47 years old. - Around 70 percent of respondents had been diagnosed around four or more years ago, with the remainder diagnosed in the last three years. - The survey was sponsored by Amgen (Europe) GmbH. Patient Treatment Experience Findings(3) - Sixty percent of patients surveyed were being prescribed or had been prescribed steroids. - Forty percent of patients had received at least three or more different therapies over time, suggesting that patients are not being managed on one therapy alone. - Nearly 80 percent of patients felt that their treatment could be improved by at least one factor; citing efficacy, fewer side effects and less frequent administration as the main areas. - Patients believed that one of the most important factors about a treatment is if it has a proven safety record and is effective at maintaining target platelet count over time. Access to ITP Information Findings(3) - Most were satisfied with the support they had received from physicians, stating that their diagnosis was quick, often within three months, that they received enough information about their condition and felt they were given strong emotional support. - When patients asked their physicians about treatment options, older therapies such as steroids and splenectomy were most commonly discussed. When patients actively sought more information about ITP from other sources, they were most keen to learn about treatment options and specifically newer therapies. - In terms of where patients found their information, more than half came from the internet, suggesting that ITP patients are keen to search online and there are opportunities to support them further through this medium.
http://www.itpvillage.com launched in 2010 under the guidance of expert clinicians and sponsored by Amgen, is an online source that provides patients and healthcare professionals with evidence-based and balanced information about their condition. Amgen also collaborates with the European Society of Haematology, and ITP specialists who form the ITPvillage.com Village Council, overseeing the content of the site and providing their expertise. During 2011, Amgen will translate ITPvillage.com into 17 European languages, serving 20 countries.
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(1) McMillan R. Therapy for Adults with Refractory Chronic Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura. Ann Intern Med 1997;126:307-314
(2) Fogarty PF et al. Curr Opin Hematol 2007;14:515-519
(3) Data on file, Amgen (Europe) GmbH, Zug, Switzerland