Healthy volunteers take part in #InTheirShoes to better understand the struggles of living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Program raises awareness of the realities of IBD, a condition labelled Canada’s “national disease” due to Canada having among the highest rates of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the world1

Oakville, OntarioNovember 30, 2017 – To help raise awareness of IBD and to mark Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month, a group of 15 Canadian participants, each with different connections to the condition, experienced what it is like to live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) when they took part recently in a unique simulation over two days.

The experience was made possible by an innovative program developed for Takeda called #InTheirShoes. During the immersive simulation, participants experience what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a person living with IBD by participating in a series of challenges that are designed to bring the patient experience to life.

A kit of items to enhance the intensity of certain challenges, live role-playing exercises and challenges that are sent through a mobile app make the experience as real as possible by bringing specific scenarios to life. Each participant was asked to put themselves into the shoes of a patient for the duration of the two-day simulation. Without knowing when it will happen, participants receive instructions to do something a patient typically encounters, such as needing to get to a washroom within a minute, changing plans due to a flare of their disease or suddenly dealing with a call from their doctor’s office.

The experiential learning program transforms academic understanding of the disease into a real-life picture of an IBD patient’s experience, creating a true emotional connection to the disease that will help them in their interactions with patients in the future.

“Takeda is committed to putting the patient at the centre of everything we do and with this program we are allowing more people, including our own employees, to understand as much as possible what the life of a person with IBD can be like,” said Chatrick Paul, General Manager, Takeda Canada Inc. “It’s one thing to understand a condition from hearing or reading about it, but to actually live the things patients who take medicines like ours go through on an hourly basis, even for a brief period, gives a much deeper understanding.”

The participants in the simulation have different connections to IBD; for some it was personal and for others it was to gain a different perspective for their work in IBD. They included a nurse practitioner, employees of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, Takeda Canada employees, and several people with close friends or family members living with IBD.

“Our organization is focused on improving the quality of life for people living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. #InTheirShoes gave us a deeper understanding of the associated emotional and physical challenges resulting from these diseases,” said Mina Mawani, President and CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada who took part with seven other employees. “The experience was very realistic and revealing for me in terms of how disruptive Crohn’s and colitis can be to your day-to-day activities – the suddenness of having to deal with a symptom or other aspect of the disease was quite unsettling.”

Philip Clarke, Specialty Sales Manager, IBD (Ontario) at Takeda Canada Inc. was one of several Takeda employees who also took part. “I’m glad to have had the opportunity to walk a mile in a patient’s shoes,” he said. “It was a very challenging but helpful experience that gives me a unique perspective. Simulating living with IBD allowed me to learn first-hand the profound impact IBD can have on day to day life and what patients live through on an ongoing basis.”

About #InTheirShoes
#InTheirShoes is an experiential learning program that brings to life Takeda’s patient-first mindset. During an immersive simulation, participants experience what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a person living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a key area of focus for Takeda. The two-day experience, which was co-created with IBD experts, people living with IBD and healthcare professionals, connects participants with the burden of IBD, bridging the participant into the physical and emotional difficulties of managing IBD. It reflects Takeda’s goal as an organization – to promote greater collaboration and increase patient-focus into daily activities as we build a patient-centric culture. #InTheirShoes was developed to inspire employees, caregivers as well as healthcare practitioners, and other stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem and to ideally lead to better outcomes for patients worldwide.

About ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) are the two most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).2 Nearly 250,000 Canadians are living with UC or CD. More than 10,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, typically in patients in their 20s, though it can be diagnosed at any age, including in children.3 IBD has been labelled Canada’s “national disease” due to Canada having among the highest rates in the world.4 UC causes the tissue of the large intestine (including the colon and rectum) to become inflamed, form sores and bleed easily. Along with symptoms of abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, UC can cause severe complications including intestinal bleeding and bowel obstructions. CD may involve inflammation in different parts of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in different people; however, it most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine (the ileum) where it joins the beginning of the colon.5 Sometimes a portion of the bowel needs to be surgically removed to bring patients relief.8 The exact causes of UC and CD are not entirely understood, though they are believed to result from an interaction between genes and the body’s immune system, with environmental factors possibly playing a role.6

Takeda’s Commitment to Gastroenterology
More than 70 million people worldwide are impacted by gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, which can be complex, debilitating and life-changing.7 Takeda is driven to improving the lives of patients with GI diseases through innovative medicines, dedicated patient disease management support and the evolution of the healthcare environment. Takeda is leading in gastroenterology through the delivery of innovative medicines in areas associated with high unmet needs, such as inflammatory bowel disease, GI acid-related diseases and GI motility disorders. Our GI research & development team is also exploring solutions in celiac disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), as well as scientific advancements through microbiome therapies. With more than 25 years of experience in this area, our broad approach to treating many diseases that impact the GI system and our global network of collaborators, Takeda aims to advance how patients manage their disease.

About Takeda
Located in Osaka, Japan, Takeda is a research-based global company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to strive towards better health for people worldwide through leading innovation in medicine. Additional information about Takeda is available at takeda.com.

Takeda Canada, located in Oakville, Ontario, is the Canadian sales and marketing organization of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. Takeda Canada is working towards being an agile, best-in-class specialty healthcare provider. Additional information about Takeda Canada is available at takedacanada.com.

Media Contact:
Natacha Raphael
Corporate Communications, Takeda Canada Inc.
natacha.raphael@takeda.com
905-465-4149

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REFERENCES

1 Media Planet, Digestive Wellness Supplement, Tackling the burden of ulcerative colitis, March 2015, accessed October 25, 2017, at: http://www.personalhealthnews.ca/prevention-and-treatment/tackling-the-burden-of-ulcerative-colitis
2 Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, Newly Diagnosed; accessed October 25, 2017, at: http://www.crohnsandcolitis.ca/Living-with-Crohn-s-Colitis/Diagnostic-recent
3 Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, The Impact of IBD Report, Who is affected; accessed October 25, 2017, at: http://crohnsandcolitis.ca/About-Us/Resources-Publications/Impact-of-IBD-Report
4 Media Planet, Digestive Wellness Supplement, Tackling the burden of ulcerative colitis, March 2015, accessed October 25, 2017, at: http://www.personalhealthnews.ca/prevention-and-treatment/tackling-the-burden-of-ulcerative-colitis
5 Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, The impact of inflammatory bowel disease in Canada, 2012 final report, page 17, 20 and 22 accessed October 25, 2017, at: http://crohnsandcolitis.ca/About-Us/Resources-Publications/Impact-of-IBD-Report
6 Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, The Facts about Inflammatory Bowel Disease, page 5, accessed October 25, 2017, at: http://www.ccfa.org/assets/pdfs/updatedibdfactbook.pdf
7 Digestive Health. University of Miami Hospital. http://umiamihospital.com/service-lines/digestive-health, accessed October 25, 2017.
8 Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, The impact of inflammatory bowel disease in Canada, 2012 final report, page 17, 20 and 22 accessed October 25, 2017, at: http://crohnsandcolitis.ca/About-Us/Resources-Publications/Impact-of-IBD-Report

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 150 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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