Lilly sponsors chronic pain website
September 16, 2009
Lilly is sponsoring a new website looking at the problems of the widespread chronic pain condition fibromyalgia.
KnowFibro.com has been produced in collaboration with the National Fibromyalgia Association, and has been launched to coincide with September's National Pain Awareness Month in the US.
Lilly's Cymbalta (duloxetine) received FDA approval to treat fibromyalgia in June 2008, bringing it into competition with Pfizer's Lyrica (pregabalin), which in 2007 become the first treatment to be given the green light in the US.
The Know Fibro campaign is primarily about raising awareness of fibromyalgia, and the website carries information resources, tips and a suggested self-management programme.
KnowFibro.com also features an online video diary detailing the experiences of fibromyalgia sufferer Martha Beck, who has had the condition for 30 years.
She says it represents "an honest look into how the disorder has impacted every aspect of my life".
But Beck adds that she has also got her fibromyalgia under control with a comprehensive care plan.
The disorder is characterised by the presence of chronic widespread pain and tenderness for at least three months.
Often misunderstood, fibromyalgia is frequently accompanied by fatigue, emotional changes and sleep problems.
Lilly says a combination of medication, education and lifestyle change is seen as the best way of mitigating the effects of the condition.
Lilly's Cymbalta was originally launched in 2004 for the treatment of neuropathic pain and the control of epileptic seizures, but the drug has not fared so well with regulators since then.
In June this year the company had to resubmit its supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA), along with new studies, for Cymbalta in the management of chronic pain to the US regulator.
Lilly originally submitted the sNDA early last year but withdrew it in November and the company said its subsequent discussions with the FDA were "primarily about statistical methodology and study design".
Meanwhile in Europe, where Lilly co-markets Cymbalta with Boehringer Ingelheim, a key regulatory advisory committee rejected the depression treatment's use to alleviate fibromyalgia.
The decision means that there is still no treatment approved in Europe for fibromyalgia, which in the US affects an estimated five million people.