THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., July 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced the launch of Myeloma MVPTM, a national campaign to help those affected by multiple myeloma create their Most Valuable Plan, an individualized approach for managing their disease. Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer for which there are a variety of treatment options, requiring patients to work closely with their doctors to determine the right plan to meet their needs.
Multiple myeloma has hit home for the baseball community in recent years, which is why Amgen is partnering with former Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Stars Dave Winfield and Steve Garvey, who have both been touched by multiple myeloma, to encourage patients to play a proactive role in their care by developing an individualized treatment plan. Former MLB All-Star Don Baylor passed away from multiple myeloma in 2017 following a 14-year battle with the disease. Baylor's son, Don Baylor Jr., is honoring his father's legacy by also participating in the campaign and raising awareness of multiple myeloma.
"I knew Don Baylor for nearly 40 years from our playing days. He was my teammate, a groomsman in my wedding and one of my best friends," said Winfield. "On the field, as a player, coach and manager, he always had a plan in approaching the day's game. Off the field, he took the same approach in managing his multiple myeloma. I'm honored to work with Amgen on Myeloma MVP to help raise awareness of this incurable blood cancer and encourage patients to create a plan for managing their disease."
The multiple myeloma treatment landscape has evolved significantly over the past decade, changing the expectations of physicians and patients. In order to create the right plan, patients need to have a voice in their treatment. Doctors should be aware of their patients' priorities and treatment goals, which may include attending an upcoming wedding or continuing a favorite outdoor activity while receiving treatment, or generally living as long as possible.
The Myeloma MVP guide, available at MyelomaExplained.com, asks a series of questions to help patients think through their priorities before their next oncology appointment, so they can work with their doctor to create the best plan for them.
As part of the campaign, Amgen is working closely with the multiple myeloma patient research and advocacy community, including the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) and Myeloma Crowd, to raise awareness with patients and caregivers. Amgen will also work with MLB to recognize local multiple myeloma communities at select games during the 2018 season.
"My dad went through cycles of remission and relapse and experienced weakness in his bones, but he didn't let multiple myeloma stop him from doing what he loved every day. He coached in the big leagues for 12 years after his diagnosis," said Baylor Jr. "What I learned from my dad's experience is that while multiple myeloma is complex, feeling empowered to work with your doctor to develop the right strategy can help manage the disease. I look forward to working with Amgen, Dave and Steve to help bring awareness to this new tool for patients."
"Don Baylor was a dear personal friend and a tremendous advocate for multiple myeloma patients. Don worked tirelessly to build awareness, promote research and educate patients about this disease. We are so proud to see members of the baseball community continue his wonderful legacy," said Paul Giusti, president and chief executive officer of the MMRF. "At the MMRF, we understand the importance of patients and caregivers being educated, empowered and taking an active role in their treatment. We are pleased to be involved with such an important project."
The Myeloma MVP guide is available now on Amgen's new patient education website, MyelomaExplained.com, along with additional information and resources for patients living with this disease, including:
- Multiple myeloma FAQ: Frequently asked questions about the disease, including signs and symptoms, risk factors and more.
- Management options: What to expect following a diagnosis, as well as treatment and supportive care information.
- Understanding your treatment: Tips and questions to help facilitate a productive conversation with your physician.
- Team video: A shareable video featuring Winfield, Garvey and Baylor Jr., intended to broaden awareness of the campaign and need for patients to create a plan.
"Myeloma MVP is an important initiative for Amgen, as we continue to focus on finding new and innovative ways to help patients living with multiple myeloma," said Robert Cuddihy, M.D., vice president of U.S. Medical at Amgen. "Based on our own research, we've seen a disconnect between patient goals and treatment decisions. This program provides a tool that helps both patients and physicians create a plan together to better manage their disease."
About Dave Winfield
Twelve-time MLB All-Star and Hall-of-Famer Dave Winfield knows the impact multiple myeloma can have on a patient all too well. In 2017, his close friend and former teammate Don Baylor passed away following a 14-year battle with the disease. Together, with Don's son, Don Jr., Dave is committed to helping raise awareness of this incurable blood cancer.
About Steve Garvey
Steve Garvey is a 10-time MLB All-Star and former World Series champion. He saw firsthand the impact of multiple myeloma when his father-in-law was diagnosed and later passed away from the disease. A former prostate cancer patient himself, Steve is urging patients to play an active role in their treatment by creating a plan for managing multiple myeloma.
About Don Baylor Jr.
Don Baylor Jr. is the son of former MLB player and coach Don Baylor, who passed away following a 14-year battle with multiple myeloma. Following his diagnosis, Don Sr. worked hard to raise awareness and fund to help fight this incurable disease. Don Jr. has partnered with Amgen to build on his father's work.
About Amgen's Commitment to Oncology
Amgen Oncology is committed to helping patients take on some of the toughest cancers, such as those that have been resistant to drugs, those that progress rapidly through the body and those where limited treatment options exist. Amgen's supportive care treatments help patients combat certain side effects of strong chemotherapy, and our targeted medicines and immunotherapies focus on more than a dozen different malignancies, ranging from blood cancers to solid tumors. With decades of experience providing therapies for cancer patients, Amgen continues to grow its portfolio of innovative and biosimilar oncology medicines.
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