“You are not alone, love is always here” World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day Campaign Launched in Beijing


(May 14th, 2015) Today, ahead of May 19th’s World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day, the China
Society of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Xian Janssen Pharmaceutical, Ltd. teamed up to launch the 2015 “You are not alone, love is always here” World IBD Day campaign. This campaign aims to increase public awareness and knowledge of IBD, a chronic and disabling immunologic disease, and to emphasize the importance of scientific treatment to relieve symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life of patients.

IBD is a group of inflammatory disorders of the colon and small intestine, of which Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the most prevalent forms. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, including the mouth and anus. The whole wall of the affected bowel can become oedematous and thickened. Deep ulcers are also characteristic of Crohn’s disease. Another unusual characteristic of the disease is patches of healthy tissue amid the diseased bowel lining – usually referred to as skip lesions. Ulcerative colitis, which is characterized by ulcers or open sores, primarily affects only the colon and rectum.

Some 343,000 cases of inflammatory bowel disease were reported in China between January 1991 and December 2010, with the number of cases from 2000 to 2010 being 2.4 times greater than those in the previous decade. During this timeframe, the number of cases of Crohn’s disease increased 15-fold, while the incidence of ulcerative colitis increased 2.3 times.

Professor Qian Jiaming, Director of the Gastroenterology Department at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, pointed out that “the incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease is increasing, and that this is especially so with Crohn’s disease. We should get the attention of doctors and the public with aggressive education. This will help with the early diagnosis and treatment of Crohn’s disease, relieve IBD patients of their distress, and improve their quality of life.”

Professor Hu Pinjin, of the Gastroenterology Department of the Sixth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, said, “inflammatory bowel disease is a life-long disease that can lead to disability. It is one of the most stubborn diseases of the digestive system. Symptoms such as chronic abdominal pain and diarrhea impact not only a person’s physical health, but also their mental health. We are devoted to finding a safe, timely and effective patient-oriented health management model by working with a team of specialists from gastroenterology, surgery, endoscopy, radiology, pathology, nursing and more. Through services such as therapy, patient history investigation, follow-up visits and education, we are trying our best to help patients resume their normal lives.”

The goals of treatment are to achieve clinical remission, glucocorticoid withdrawal, rapid symptom control and mucosa healing. Professor Ran Zhihua, Deputy Director of the Gastroenterology Department of Shanghai Renji Hospital, said: “Based on the ‘Chinese IBD Diagnosis and Treatment Consensus,’ patients with two or more high risk factors should be treated with aggressive treatments such as biological therapy or immunomodulators during the early stages. High risk factors include initial glucocorticoid treatment, young age (<40 years), perianal lesions, wide range lesions (>1m), esophageal lesions, stomach lesions and duodenal lesions. Studies show the efficacy of biological therapy for mucosal healing in 50-70% of patients; by combining biological therapy with immunosuppression, 73% of patients experienced mucosal healing. Biological therapy is superior to traditional drugs in both efficacy rate and the quality of mucosal healing.”

In recent years, Inflammatory bowel disease, especially Crohn’s disease, has gotten more and more attention and support. Professor Qian recently revealed that Crohn’s disease was now covered in Zhejiang and Qingdao medical insurance schemes. We believe a growing number of patients will benefit from government aid and other patient assistance initiatives as more people become aware of Crohn’s disease and the burden of those affected.

Ms. Zheng Lei, Vice President of Xian Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd, expressed XianJanssen’s deep concern for patients suffering from Crohn’s disease: “We offer advanced medical treatments and develop innovative new products to meet the needs of patients and help reduce their suffering from this disease. Recognizing the importance of early diagnosis, Xian Janssen also works hard to raise public awareness of the disease.”
This year, the “You are not alone, love is always here” campaign will be broadcast online and include
a HTML5 introduction to the campaign, infographics on Crohn’s disease and the World IBD Day, and a series of videos that raise awareness of the disease and tell the story of patients living with it.