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Pit Crew Chiefs Todd Berrier and Kevin 'Bono' Manion Set Aside Rivalry and Team Up to Help Racing Fans Learn More About Gout

June 28, 2011

Men's Health Network and Takeda Launch 'Gout Pit Stop' Education and Awareness Campaign and National Sweepstakes

WASHINGTON, D.C., and DEERFIELD, Ill., June 28, 2011 - Men’s Health Network (MHN) and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., today announced a partnership to launch the “Gout Pit Stop," an educational campaign to raise awareness about gout, a type of arthritis that affects approximately 8.3 million people in the U.S. and is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men. Launched just before one of the biggest events of the year on the racing calendar and during Men’s Health Month, the national campaign will inform people about gout and its underlying cause and encourage them to speak with their healthcare provider about ways to manage it to help avoid painful flares. The campaign, which also includes a sweepstakes, invites people to learn more by making their own “Gout Pit Stop” at race tracks across the country, as well as virtually at the campaign website, GoutPitStop.com.

“Men in particular can be reluctant to seek health information, and research shows that people really don’t want to talk about gout. Not only does ‘Gout Pit Stop’ provide a forum that is uniquely appealing to this group, but it also sheds light on the underlying cause of gout—high uric acid levels—to help remove the stigma that surrounds the disease,” says Men’s Health Network Advisor Theodore Fields, MD, FACP, Director, Rheumatology Faculty Practice Plan, Hospital for Special Surgery, a leading center for rheumatology. Dr. Fields is also Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill College of Medicine of Cornell University. “This program encourages those who are or might be affected to think about gout in a new way.”

Gout patients and their friends and family can enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a Richard Petty Driving Experience* (RPDE), where they will have the chance to ride in a race car on a track. For every person who enters, Takeda will make a $1 donation to Men’s Health Network up to $25,000.

Pit crew chiefs Todd Berrier and Kevin ‘Bono’ Manion are setting aside their friendly rivalry to team up and share their personal experiences with gout and how it has affected their lives on and off the track. As part of “Gout Pit Stop,” Todd and Kevin will share their stories through national and local media, personal appearances at select speedways, and on the campaign website.

“My driver counts on me and my pit crew to stay in the race,” says Todd. “It’s really the same with my gout—I work with my doctor so I can stay in the driver’s seat when it comes to gout and my health.”

Racing fans will have a chance to experience “Gout Pit Stop” firsthand at a special midway destination featuring fun and engaging ways to learn about gout including a prize wheel, trivia game, sweepstakes entry kiosks and special appearances by Todd and Kevin, who will share their personal gout stories and how it affects their lives in the fast lane. Race weekends can take their toll on a fan’s body – the walking, food, high temperatures – and the “Gout Pit Stop” will help provide relief from the elements of a fan race experience.

The “Gout Pit Stop” experience will be offered at the following race weekends:

  • Daytona
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Charlotte
  • Texas

“I’ve been affected by gout for 10 years and always thought it was caused by diet or lifestyle choices,” says Kevin. “I wanted to get involved in this campaign to help inform people like me that gout has an underlying cause, and that they shouldn't blame themselves or feel ashamed to admit they have it.”
“At Takeda, we are committed to helping patients understand gout and its underlying cause, which is hyperuricemia—or high levels of uric acid in the blood. Long-term management of uric acid levels is key,” says Robert Spanheimer, M.D., vice president of medical and scientific affairs at Takeda. “Together with Men’s Health Network, we developed ‘Gout Pit Stop’ to help shed some light on this painful condition that often lives in the shadows so we can make a difference in the lives of those who are affected by gout.”

Visit GoutPitStop.com for tips, resources and a chance to win an exciting driving experience!*

About Gout
Gout is a chronic, metabolic disease affecting approximately 8.3 million Americans and is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men. The underlying cause of gout is hyperuricemia, a condition characterized by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood.

Gout can attack silently even between flares. A gout attack, or “flare,” occurs when excess uric acid in the blood begins to form crystals, triggering an inflammatory response in the joints or soft tissue causing extreme discomfort. Crystals may continuously form and build up in the joints, possibly leading to joint destruction over time.

While gout can affect several different joints, including elbows, knees and wrists, patients most commonly experience attacks in the big toe. The pain of a gout attack may interfere with everyday activities, including work and family events.

In addition to recommended diet and lifestyle changes, experts recognize that it is important to achieve and maintain a healthy uric acid level in the blood of less than 6.0 mg/dL.

About Men’s Health Network
MHN is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities and patient navigation. With a network of chapters, affiliates, and health partners, MHN has a presence in every U.S. state and more than 30 countries. We strive to achieve the following goals:

  • To save men's lives by reducing the premature mortality of men and boys.
  • To improve the physical and mental health of men so that they can live fuller and happier lives.
  • Work with/through women as the family's health care leader to reach men with critical health messages.

For more information, please visit www.menshealthnetwork.org.

About Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. and Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc.
Based in Deerfield, Ill., Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. and Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc. are subsidiaries of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. The respective companies currently market oral diabetes, insomnia, rheumatology and gastroenterology treatments, and seek to bring innovative products to patients through a pipeline that includes compounds in development for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gastroenterology, neurology and other conditions. To learn more about these Takeda companies, visit www.tpna.com.

* Grand Prize is awarded in the form of $500 Gift Card to attend Richard Petty Driving Experience. Each First Prize is awarded in the form of $250 Gift Card to attend Richard Petty Driving Experience.

No Purchase Necessary to Enter or Win in the Gout Pit Stop Sweepstakes. Making a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Internet access is required. Starts 12:00:00 am ET on 6/28/11, ends 11:59:59 pm ET on 11/30/11 (“Promotion Period”). Open only to legal residents of 50 U.S. & DC, 21 or older as of entry date. Void where prohibited. Subject to Official Rules available at www.GoutPitStop.com during Promotion Period or by sending a SASE for receipt by 12/30/11 to: Gout Pit Stop Sweepstakes RULES, P.O. Box 13106, Bridgeport, CT, 06673-3106. Access to www.GoutPitStop.com available inside the Gout Pit Stop tent. Sponsor: Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.



Theresa Morrow
Men’s Health Network
(202) 543-6461 ext. 104

Jocelyn Gerst
Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.
(224) 554-5542

Sofia Lombardo
(646) 935-4202