Allergan Teams Up With Media Mogul Wendy Williams to Debut the Patient Empowerment Campaign – Toilet Talk
In Recognition of IBS Awareness Month, Allergan and the American Gastroenterological Association Work to Destigmatize the Bowel Health Conversation
DUBLIN, April 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), a global pharmaceutical company and leader in developing best-in-class treatment options for patients, has partnered with the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), to announce the launch of Toilet TalkSM in celebration of IBS Awareness Month. Toilet TalkSM is a component of a larger corporate initiative to drive awareness for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). The campaign is intended to reduce the stigma associated with talking about bowel health, and ultimately to empower patients to proactively discuss their bowel function with their healthcare professional.
“By elevating and normalizing conversations around bowel health, Allergan and the AGA believe Toilet TalkSM will empower patients to feel more comfortable and confident when speaking with their healthcare professional,” said Aimee Lenar, Vice President, Gastroenterology. “No one should suffer because they are too embarrassed to talk about their IBS-D symptoms.”
At the center of this multimedia campaign is a bold video created in partnership with celebrity entrepreneur and Daytime Emmy® nominated talk show host, Wendy Williams, whose candid, no-holds-barred personality encourages sufferers to speak to a healthcare professional.
“I don’t shy away from talking about taboo topics, and talking about number two, isn’t any different,” said Wendy Williams. “I’m excited to be a part of Toilet Talk, helping to advocate and spread the word that it’s okay to talk about bowel health. Once we explained that bowel health is a vital component of your overall health, it was easy to get people talking about poop. The responses we received are honest, enlightening and even a little fun.”
As many as 16 million Americans are affected by IBS-D,, and according to the “IBS in America” survey, a web-based survey of IBS-C and IBS-D sufferers by the AGA, nearly 4 in 10 patients waited three or more years before seeing a healthcare professional about their symptoms. Patients would rather discuss STDs or impotence rather than their bowel health with their HCPs.3 Allergan and the AGA are determined to change this pattern of behavior.
“Many IBS sufferers dismiss their symptoms until diarrhea impacts their daily lives, causing them to miss work or social events. It’s unfortunate that instead of communicating these issues with their healthcare professional, they resort to an ongoing cycle of lifestyle modification and over the counter treatments,” said J. Sumner Bell, MD, AGAF, AGA patient engagement advisor. “It’s our goal that by raising awareness of the importance of bowel health, Toilet TalkSM will empower sufferers to seek medical treatment earlier than ever before, and speak frankly with their healthcare professional so that they can control their symptoms and regain confidence in their daily lives.”
Filmed on the Santa Monica Pier in California, the Toilet Talk SM video features men and women, approached at random, sitting on toilets having an honest discussion about their bowel movements. Talking about poop may be awkward and uncomfortable, and Toilet Talk perfectly captures both the taboo and authentic nature of the topic, while underscoring that bowel health, among other factors, can be an important component in overall well-being.
The campaign further empowers patients to understand more about their own bowel movements by answering five simple questions that will help them start the discussion with their healthcare provider. For every completed questionnaire, Allergan will donate $1 to the AGA Research Foundation to support digestive disease research, up to $50,000. Toilet Talk SM will be amplified further through digital advertising as well as with a Toilet Talk SM Facebook page. In addition, Toilet Talk SM will reach healthcare practitioners and consumers via in-office brochures.
For additional information, to view the video, or to learn more about IBS-D visit www.thetoilettalk.com. Viewers are also encouraged to inspire open bowel health conversation by sharing via social media using the hashtag #ToiletTalk.
About the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)
The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to include more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization. www.gastro.org.
About Allergan plc
Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a bold, global pharmaceutical company and a leader in a new industry model – Growth Pharma. Allergan is focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceuticals, devices and biologic products for patients around the world.
Allergan markets a portfolio of leading brands and best-in-class products for the central nervous system, eye care, medical aesthetics and dermatology, gastroenterology, women’s health, urology and anti-infective therapeutic categories.
Allergan is an industry leader in Open Science, the Company’s R&D model, which defines our approach to identifying and developing game-changing ideas and innovation for better patient care. This approach has led to Allergan building one of the broadest development pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry with 70+ mid-to-late stage pipeline programs in development.
Our Company’s success is powered by our more than 16,000 global colleagues’ commitment to being Bold for Life. Together, we build bridges, power ideas, act fast and drive results for our customers and patients around the world by always doing what is right.
With commercial operations in approximately 100 countries, Allergan is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives every day.
For more information, visit Allergan’s website at www.Allergan.com
Statements contained in this press release that refer to future events or other non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Allergan’s current perspective of existing trends and information as of the date of this release. Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from Allergan’s current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Allergan’s business. These factors include, among others, the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of FDA approvals or actions, if any; the impact of competitive products and pricing; market acceptance of and continued demand for Allergan’s products; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in Allergan’s periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Allergan’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
 Grundmann O, Yoon SL. Irritable bowel syndrome: epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment: an update for health-care practitioners. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Apr;25(4):691-9.
 Quick Facts. United States Census Bureau website. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00 Accessed April 4, 2017.
 Data on file. Forest Laboratories, LLC.
SOURCE: Allergan plc