For better population health - Université Laval launches the Treatment Compliance Chair

QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Faculty of Pharmacy at Université Laval sees the creation of the Treatment Compliance Chair as a means to help improve population health and well-being. Medication is a part of everyday life for many Quebecers. A number, however, have trouble following their treatment correctly. The new Chair was set up thanks to a $2 million grant over five years from AstraZeneca Canada, Merck Frosst Canada, Pfizer Canada, sanofi-aventis, and "Prends soin de toi," a community health program that is funded by research-based pharmaceutical companies in Quebec and whose main goal is to support local projects designed to improve mental health services.

The Chair was unveiled in the presence of Dr. Yves Bolduc, Minister of Health and Social Services, Mark Jones, President and CEO of AstraZeneca Canada, Dr. Michel Cimon, Medical Director of Merck Frosst Canada, Paul Lévesque, President of Pfizer Canada, Hugh O'Neill, President and CEO of sanofi-aventis Canada, Edwin Bourget, Vice Rector of Research and Creation, Jean-Pierre Grégoire, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, and Jocelyne Moisan, Chair holder.

"Patients are considered to be complying with their treatment when they follow all the therapeutic advice and recommendations provided by a healthcare professional. Treatment compliance means, for example, taking medication for as long as the doctor recommends and taking all prescribed doses. Our goal is to help people better manage their treatment and thereby improve their quality of life," stresses the Chair holder. Research will first help us better understand how Quebecers comply with their treatment and will then identify the factors that may help them properly follow their treatment. Various means will then be used to improve compliance in partnership with doctors, pharmacists, and patient groups.

For Vice Rector of Research and Creation Edwin Bourget, the new Chair "demonstrates that partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and Université Laval are decisive in promoting the advancement of health research and beneficial for quality of life in Quebec."

The Treatment Compliance Chair is located at the Population Health Research Unit of Centre hospitalier affilié universitaire de Québec Centre - Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement. The Chair's interdisciplinary team consists of researchers, research professionals, graduate students from the Faculty of Pharmacy, and numerous collaborators.

Mark Jones of AstraZeneca Canada stresses that "the Chair that Université Laval is officially launching today dovetails perfectly with a set of social measures that we support and whose goal is to promote population health, extending from prevention to therapeutic intervention."

"Merck Frosst is proud to support this collaborative partnership between Université Laval and the private sector, which will foster better research and solutions to improve health outcomes for the people of Quebec," said Dr. Michel Cimon, Medical Director of Merck Frosst Canada. "Addressing patient non-compliance to drug therapy is critical to ensuring that all Quebecers receive the best healthcare possible."

"As both president of a company dedicated to innovation in health and a graduate of Université Laval, I am delighted with this initiative, which should have a significant impact on the well-being of patients and health economics," specified Paul Lévesque of Pfizer Canada.

"We're confident that the Chair will promote the optimal use of medicines and underscore what we at sanofi-aventis Canada have long believed: that innovative medicines, properly administered to the appropriate patients, are not costs to be borne but investments that will deliver important savings in healthcare," said Hugh O'Neill from sanofi-aventis Canada.

Partners

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacturing, and marketing of leading-edge prescription medicines and a supplier of healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, with healthcare sales of US $31.6 billion, and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology, and infectious disease medicines. AstraZeneca Canada employs 1,050 people across the country, who work to discover, develop, and market medicines to improve the health of Canadians. The company was designated one of the 50 Best Employers in Canada in the 2008 Globe and Mail Report on Business (ROB) survey. www.astrazeneca.ca

At Merck Frosst, patients come first. Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. is a research-driven pharmaceutical company. Merck Frosst discovers, develops, and markets a broad range of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve human health. The Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research, one of the largest biomedical research facilities in Canada, has a mandate to discover new therapies for the treatment of infectious diseases. More information about Merck Frosst is available at www.merckfrosst.com.

Pfizer Canada is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., the world's leading pharmaceutical company. Pfizer discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets prescription medicines for humans and animals. Pfizer Canada is a leader in Canadian healthcare research, investing over $137 million in research and development activities, contributions, and partnerships in 2008. The company has invested over $1 billion in R&D since 2000. Pfizer Canada's commitment to helping Canadians live happier, healthier, and longer lives extends beyond medication. To learn more about Pfizer Canada's "More than Medication" philosophy and programs, visit www.morethanmedication.ca.

Sanofi-aventis is a leading global pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Listed on the stock exchanges of Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and New York (NYSE: SNY), it is represented in Canada by the pharmaceutical company sanofi-aventis Canada Inc., based in Laval, Quebec, and by the vaccine company Sanofi Pasteur Limited, based in Toronto, Ontario. Together they number over 2,000 employees and are leaders in Canada's biopharmaceutical sector, a critical research-based industry that generates jobs, business, and opportunities throughout the country. www.sanofi-aventis.ca

Prends Soin de Toi is a community-health program funded by AstraZeneca Canada Inc. The main goal of the program is to support locally initiated projects designed to improve health-care services in the area of mental health. Locally initiated projects include initiatives to raise awareness and advance knowledge about mental health, to provide support to patients and families living with mental illnesses, and to develop better approaches to evaluate and treat mental illness.

For further information: Hélène Mélançon, Media Relations, Université Laval, (418) 656-2131, ext. 7286, Cell: (418) 254-7379, helene.melancon@dc.ulaval.ca