National Parkinson Foundation Urges Patients to Take Charge of Managing Parkinson's

Release date: 3/27/2013

— Free, Lifesaving Medical ID Bracelets Available During April, Parkinson's Awareness Month —

MIAMI, March 27, 2013 — The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) announced today that it is providing thousands of free Parkinson's medical ID bracelets in an effort to address recent data that shows three out of four people with Parkinson's do not receive their medications on time. This lack of awareness in the hospital can cause serious disease complications along with a resulting substantial cost burden. For patients with Parkinson's, associated hospital costs have shown to be nearly twice as much as the costs for those without the disease.

"For people with Parkinson's, medication can be as important as insulin to a diabetic," said Joyce Oberdorf , NPF's President and CEO. "Yet too few nurses, physicians and emergency room personnel understand this. Our awareness-raising effort helps these hospitalized patients to not only get their medications on time, but avoid debilitating complications of receiving the wrong treatments."

NPF is encouraging people with Parkinson's to wear the bracelet at all times in case they are in a medical emergency situation and cannot communicate.  The bracelets are a key piece of the Aware in Care campaign, which empowers people with Parkinson's and their caregivers to get the best care possible during a hospital stay.

"There is a basic lack of understanding of Parkinson's disease even in the very best hospitals across the United States," explains Michael S. Okun , MD, NPF's National Medical Director. "With Aware in Care, and notably the Parkinson's medical ID bracelet, we can raise awareness about the critical importance of Parkinson's medication timing to everyone who works in a hospital setting. Moreover, the campaign enables and empowers patients and caregivers to take charge of their healthcare – potentially saving lives, unnecessary costs and suffering."

The NPF medical bracelet is 100% stainless steel, hypoallergenic and waterproof and has the NPF Helpline, 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636), engraved on the back. To order, visit NPF's online store or call NPF's toll-free Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO.  For more information about the Aware in Care campaign, visit www.awareincare.org.

"I know first-hand the frustration that patients and families deal with when doctors and other medical professionals are not as informed as they should be about Parkinson's disease," said Mrs. Lily Safra , Chairwoman of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation. "We are proud to be funding innovative and effective programs like Aware in Care in order to improve the care of patients and to support their caregivers."

The NPF Parkinson's medical ID bracelets are made possible by the generous contributions of The Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation.  Aware in Care is supported by: The Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation; Teva CNS; Abbvie; The Eleanor M. and Herbert D. Katz Family Foundation; UCB; Novartis; and The Thompkins-Broll Family Foundation.

About Parkinson's Disease (PD)
Affecting an estimated one million Americans and four to six million worldwide, Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's and is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. There is no cure for PD and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

About the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF)
Founded in 1957, the National Parkinson Foundation's mission it to improve the quality of care for people with Parkinson's disease through research, education and outreach. NPF has funded more than $172 million in research and support services to improve the lives of people with Parkinson's.

For more information about NPF, visit www.parkinson.org, or call the NPF Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636).

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