Avanir Pharmaceuticals and Caregiver Action Network Partner on Educational Caregiver Program  

July 18, 2018

-- Partnership Includes Series of Caregiver Lunch & Learn Workshops and Caregiver Care Packages in Select Markets --

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. and WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 18, 2018 – Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Caregiver Action Network (CAN) today announced a partnership to provide caregivers with educational resources to help them adjust to their new role. Avanir has partnered with CAN as part of its commitment to educating patients, doctors, and caregivers about symptoms and management options for PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA) – an often ignored, misdiagnosed, and undertreated condition that has a significant impact on patients already enduring life-changing medical illnesses.

At least 2 million people in the U.S. are affected by PBA – one of the many secondary health issues that challenge patients and caregivers living with traumatic brain injury and certain neurologic conditions, including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson's disease1. PBA episodes of frequent, sudden, uncontrollable laughing and crying – often exaggerated or simply not matching how the person feels - take a toll on both patients and caregivers. However, patients and caregivers, busy adjusting to life after the onset of their injury or neurologic disease, often assume that this condition isn’t something that can be managed or that management isn’t necessary if their clinician didn’t talk with them about it.2

Avanir and CAN will host workshops in four markets for caregivers supporting loved ones living with or recovering from brain injury or neurologic conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, MS, ALS, and Parkinson's disease to help them have productive conversations with their physicians. Additionally, Avanir and CAN will provide care packages that will include practical tools to support caregivers as they make important health decisions together with their loved ones, including those who are experiencing PBA symptoms.

“Patients and their caregivers are often not aware that episodes of uncontrollable laughing and crying may be PBA, and that it is a separate and manageable condition,” said Wa’el Hashad, President and Chief Executive Officer of Avanir. “Our goal in partnering with Caregiver Action Network is to generate awareness of PBA through education to foster meaningful conversations between caregivers, patients, and physicians.”
The Lunch & Learn Workshops will be held in the following markets:

•    Los Angeles, California: Adventist Health Glendale, July 28, 2018
•    New York, New York: September
•    San Antonio, Texas: October
•    Ann Arbor, Michigan: November

“Communication is key in any relationship. And that’s also true for the relationship between doctors, patients, and their family caregivers,” said John Schall, Chief Executive Officer of CAN. “That’s why we are excited to partner with Avanir to provide educational resources to help caregivers better understand PBA and be confident in their ability to articulate their patient’s symptoms so that physicians may appropriately manage their care.”

To learn more about the Lunch & Learn Workshops, please visit www.CaregiverAction.org/caregiver-lunch-learn. For more information about PBA, including a short quiz that can help start a conversation with a physician about PBA, visit www.PBAInfo.org.

About Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)
PBA is a neurologic condition characterized by involuntary, sudden and frequent episodes of crying and/or laughing that are often contrary or exaggerated to the patient's inner mood state. PBA occurs secondary to a variety of neurologic conditions such as traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke and Alzheimer's disease. When these disorders damage areas of the brain that regulate normal emotional expression, they can lead to uncontrollable episodes of crying or laughing. For more information about PBA, visit www.PBAInfo.org.

About Caregiver Action Network (CAN)
Caregiver Action Network (www.CaregiverAction.org) is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with special needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. CAN reaches caregivers on multiple platforms. CAN (the National Family Caregivers Association) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.

About Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing innovative medicines to patients with central nervous system disorders of high unmet medical need. As part of our commitment, we have extensively invested in our pipeline and are dedicated to advancing medicines that can substantially improve the lives of patients and their loved ones. For more information about Avanir, please visit www.Avanir.com.

Avanir is a subsidiary of Otsuka America, Inc. (OAI), a holding company established in the U.S. in 1989. OAI is wholly owned by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: 'Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide.'

Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative and original pharmaceutical products for the treatment of diseases and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health.

In pharmaceuticals, Otsuka is a leader in the challenging area of mental health and also has research programs on several under-addressed diseases including tuberculosis, a significant global public health issue. These commitments illustrate how Otsuka is a "big venture" company at heart, applying a youthful spirit of creativity in everything it does. Otsuka Pharmaceutical and its related companies, employ approximately 31,000 people worldwide. You can visit the company's global website at www.Otsuka.co.jp/en.

Edelman Media Contact
Shannon Moore

(415) 200-8516

SOURCE Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

1.    Work SS, Colamonico JA, Bradley WG, Kaye RE. Pseudobulbar affect: an under-recognized and under-treated neurological disorder. Adv Ther. 2011;28(7):586-601.
2.    Data on File. Primary qualitative market research – Physicians, caregivers and patients Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Aliso Viejo, CA. 2017-2018