OTTAWA, Ontario, Dec. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL) and the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) today announced a joint initiative to raise funds and awareness for Canadians and people worldwide who are living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, the two organizations today unveiled that a team of athletes will run across Canada in the Mylan Relay for Hope, beginning in April 2015 in St. John's, NL, and ending in October 2015 in Hope, BC – covering a total distance of 7,750 km. This team will consist of 36 dedicated runners subdivided into teams of three, each of which will be responsible for running the distance in their province before the team in the next province can begin their westward journey. The runners will carry select panels of the Canadian AIDS Memorial Quilt, a grassroots project started in the 1980s as part of The Names Project, which honors loved ones who have died from HIV/AIDS.
"HIV/AIDS continues to have a devastating impact on communities across the world," said Monique Doolittle-Romas, chief executive officer of the Canadian AIDS Society. "In Canada, we estimate that there are 71,300 people living with HIV/AIDS. Despite the significant progress made in many areas of HIV/AIDS, our battle continues. We need the continued support of Canadians to help beat the disease, and are delighted to partner with Mylan on the Relay for Hope campaign to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS issues, and inspire more and more Canadians to support people living with HIV/AIDS in Canada and around the globe."
Mylan is committed to setting new standards in health care for people living with HIV/AIDS. The company has played a critical role in helping to drive down the cost of antiretroviral, or ARV, medications. Today, Mylan offers 50 ARV drugs and serves approximately 3.5 million patients in 104 countries.
"Mylan's mission is to provide the world's 7 billion people access to high quality medicine, including those who depend on our antiretroviral treatments," said Richard Guest, president of Mylan Pharmaceuticals ULC in Canada. "Our longstanding commitment to fighting the disease already has made a big difference for millions of people and their families and communities. Approximately 40% of those being treated for the disease in the developing world today depend on our ARV products."
In conjunction with the run, Mylan and CAS have launched relayforhope.ca, a digital resource to help raise funds and educate key stakeholders across the country.
Proceeds from the Mylan Relay for Hope campaign, which will be collected from individual and corporate donors, will directly fund programs organized by CAS and its 100 charitable partners across Canada. The proceeds also will be used abroad to fight HIV/AIDS in regions that are under served by current efforts.
The announcement was made at the seventh annual CAS World AIDS Day Gala held in Ottawa and in the company of representatives from all levels of government, leaders of the HIV/AIDS community, as well as celebrities and representatives of the charitable and service organizations that comprise CAS.
Mylan and CAS have begun their joint search for runners to represent each of the provinces through which the relay will travel. Organizers are also inviting all Canadians to join the relay at any point during the six-month campaign. Persons interested in participating in the relay, or learning more, are invited to visit relayforhope.ca.
CAS has taken ownership of the Canadian version of The Names Project Quilt, the renowned grassroots program that remembers those who have succumbed to HIV/AIDS by name. During the height of the AIDS crisis on both sides of the border, enough quilts were produced to cover more than five football fields.
Some recent statistics on HIV/AIDS:
- An estimated 71,300 Canadians currently are infected with HIV/AIDS and 22,300 have AIDS;(1)
- 26 per cent of those who are HIV-positive in Canada are unaware of it;(1)
- The annual economic loss caused by HIV/AIDS in Canada is $4 billion.(1)
Around the globe:
- Since 1981, some 25 million persons have died from AIDS;(2)
- About 33 million are currently infected with HIV/AIDS;(2)
- Some 45 per cent of those infected do not receive treatment because of inadequate access to treatment;(2)
- Mylan innovations in second-line therapies have helped to reduce the annual cost of treating a patient from $15,000 to $350.
Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in health care. Working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high quality medicine, Mylan innovates to satisfy unmet needs; makes reliability and service excellence a habit; does what's right, not what's easy; and impacts the future through passionate global leadership. The company offers a growing portfolio of more than 1,300 generic pharmaceuticals and several brand medications. In addition, it offers a wide range of antiretroviral therapies, upon which approximately 40% of HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries depend. Mylan's workforce of more than 20,000 people is dedicated to improving the customer experience and increasing pharmaceutical access to consumers around the world. Visit mylan.ca for more information.
About the Canadian AIDS Society
Incorporated since 1986, the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) is a national coalition of community-based AIDS organizations across Canada. CAS is dedicated to strengthening the response to HIV/AIDS across all sectors of society, and to enriching the lives of people and communities living with HIV/AIDS. For more information, please visit www.cdnaids.ca.
References: (1) Canadian AIDS Society and (2) UNAIDS
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SOURCE Mylan Inc.