Salix Pharmaceuticals, a gastrointestinal subsidiary of Bausch Health, is teaming up with award-winning actor Bellamy Young to shed light on liver disease, specifically hepatic encephalopathy (HE). HE, typically a temporary condition, can lead to severe neurological issues in patients, often stemming from chronic liver disease caused by various factors such as excessive alcohol consumption, hepatitis infections, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Bellamy Young, renowned for her roles as Melody “Mellie” Grant in the ABC drama series “Scandal,” has a personal connection to this condition and is sharing her story.
In a sponsored Instagram post, she revealed, “When I was younger, my dad’s HE was something that we didn’t talk about, making that period very isolating for me and my mom. I want to help educate people diagnosed with HE and their families so they can move past the stigma and have important conversations with their doctors to learn more about the disease.”
– Bellamy Young
Young emphasized the importance of breaking the silence around HE, which she and her family experienced when dealing with her father’s condition. She aims to raise awareness and educate individuals diagnosed with HE and their families, encouraging them to overcome the stigma associated with the disease and engage in vital conversations with healthcare professionals.
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Salix Pharmaceuticals is collaborating with Young on this initiative and has launched a series of educational resources. These resources include an interactive symptom tracker and discussion guides, available on a new Salix website. Patients and caregivers can utilize these tools to initiate conversations with healthcare providers and others, with the goal of enhancing the diagnosis and treatment of HE.
Salix, the marketer of Xifaxan for HE, introduced a branded ad campaign titled “I Wish I Knew” earlier this year. The campaign revolves around Mark, an actual patient who, following his 2016 liver disease diagnosis, exhibited extreme personality changes that were later attributed to a form of HE.