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Arthritis Foundation Announces Amgen and Wyeth to Be Presenting Sponsor of the 2008 Arthritis Walk (R)

ATLANTA, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Arthritis Foundation, the leading health organization addressing the needs of 46 million Americans living with arthritis, today announced that Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, co-marketers of Enbrel (R) (etanercept), will be the national presenting sponsor of the 2008 Arthritis Walk (R).

"The Arthritis Foundation hosts hundreds of Arthritis Walk events nationwide to raise funds to prevent, control and cure arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability," said Becky Burkett, chief development officer of the Arthritis Foundation. "This generous sponsorship from Amgen and Wyeth will provide a unique opportunity to generate awareness about arthritis while raising funds that are critical to helping find a cure for this debilitating condition."

As part of the sponsorship, the Arthritis Foundation will launch a new program in which the organization will reach out to rheumatologists and members of the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals in an effort to help boost attendance and awareness of the Arthritis Walk by encouraging doctors and their patients to walk together.

"We're excited to have the opportunity to support a program that benefits the entire arthritis community," said Jeffrey M. Melin, M.D., M.P.H., senior director, Musculoskeletal and Inflammatory Diseases, Wyeth Research. "We encourage people with arthritis to join the Arthritis Walk together with their doctor, as well as their friends and family, and to take an active role in improving their own health, while raising awareness and funding for arthritis research."

"Arthritis can pose challenges to physical activity, but it does not have to mean the end of an active and healthy lifestyle," said Scott Baumgartner, M.D., director, Global Development, Inflammation Therapeutic Area, Amgen. "We hope that together with the Arthritis Foundation we can empower and motivate people with rheumatoid arthritis to consult with their rheumatologist and start or restart an appropriate fitness program."

Arthritis Walk events, which take place nationwide, kick off National Arthritis Month in May. Walking as little as 30 minutes -- even 10 minutes three times a day -- can be beneficial for everyone and may ease joint pain and improve mobility. For people with arthritis, experts believe that light exercise such as walking may decrease fatigue, strengthen bones and muscles, and enhance flexibility and stamina. To sign up for an Arthritis Walk event, visit

While often referred to as if it were a single disease, arthritis is actually an umbrella term used for a group of more than 100 medical conditions that collectively affect the joints of nearly 46 million adults and 300,000 children in America alone. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is most prevalent in people over 60 years of age, while rheumatoid arthritis appears primarily in women in their young- to mid-adult years. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of arthritis in children.

About the Arthritis Foundation

The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of some 46 million Americans living with arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability. Founded in 1948, with headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has multiple service points located throughout the country.

The Arthritis Foundation is the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $380 million in research grants since 1948. The foundation helps individuals take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis. Information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-283-7800 or

About Amgen and Wyeth

Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, market ENBREL in North America. Wyeth markets ENBREL outside of North America. Immunex Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amgen, manufactures ENBREL, which may be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, junior rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis. Additional information about ENBREL, including the full U.S. Prescribing Information, can be found on the Web site sponsored by the companies at or by calling, in the U.S., toll free 888-4ENBREL (888-436-2735).

Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about Amgen's pioneering science and vital medicines, visit

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, has leading products in the areas of women's health care, infectious disease, gastrointestinal health, central nervous system, inflammation, transplantation, hemophilia, oncology, vaccines and nutritional products. Wyeth is one of the world's largest research-driven pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide. The Company's major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal Health. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Arthritis Foundation
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