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Putting epilepsy in the picture on International Epilepsy Day

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    As we mark International Epilepsy Day this Monday 13 February, we pause to reflect on the perseverance, commitment, and passion displayed across the entire epilepsy community. From people living with epilepsy to caregivers and loved ones, from scientist working on new treatments to the healthcare community committed to treating patients with the condition, we remain inspired and grateful to play our part in this endeavor.

    To this end, we invite you to visit the epilepsy.org website to see the winners of this year’s international art competition for people with epilepsy called, “Putting Epilepsy in the Picture.”

    The first thing you’re likely to notice are the incredibly powerful images of people.  One little girl from Iran stares up with intense blue eyes as goldfish, a butterfly and dark streamers float around her.  A young woman from Swaziland emerges from a swirl of bright colors to share a knowing look and a whimsical smile.  A girl from the US shines like the sun with one half sad face and one half happy face.

    It’s an important reminder that this is what epilepsy looks like to those who live with it every day. It’s personal. It can be intense. It’s a different experience for each person, parent, caregiver or spouse as they struggle to maintain some distance between the person and the condition.

    At UCB we acknowledge and strive to better understand both the complexity and diversity of each patients experience. As we plan for the future, we believe it will never be more important for us to dedicate an increasing amount of attention to ensuring that all patients have access to individualized solutions tailored to their individual needs, allowing them to live life at their ideal.

    We will continue our work to better help connect patients and physicians with the right  treatment through our focus on unique patient segments or subpopulations and the creation of innovative clinical decision resources  that apply Big Data to help maximize patient outcomes.  We are committed to partnering across the epilepsy community  in exploring new technologies around and beyond the pill that will help patients better understand their condition and optimize their care.  For example, UCB’s Patient Relevant Innovative Solutions Mission and Patient Experience Mission are embracing exciting opportunities to work with non-traditional partners who, by approaching some of the challenges facing people with epilepsy from an alternative starting point, could improve patient experiences. Finally, we are humble in our belief that more must be done to bridge many of the gaps that currently prevent many patients from the solutions they need. We look forward to telling you more about a major global access initiative that will kick off later this year.

    So this week, as you consider International Epilepsy Day, we invite you to follow the lead of the artists in this year’s contest and keep it personal. Remember the individual behind each diagnosis, prescription and claim, and our shared commitment to help each live at his or her ideal.

    To that end we’d like to leave you with this quote from Molly Foote, the artist who won first prize for 12 years-old and under in the “Putting Epilepsy in the Picture” contest:

    “I learned that I am barely any different from anyone else, but I have a different perspective because of epilepsy.”

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