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Mylan taps Sarah Jessica Parker to rep anaphylaxis film contest

May is Food Allergy Action Month, and Mylan is making the most of it. On the heels of its debut of a hard-hitting TV ad showing a young woman having a severe allergic peanut reaction, Mylan is launching a consumer-generated media initiative with spokeswoman actress Sarah Jessica Parker.

Called “Anaphylaxis: For Reel,” the program is inviting children and their families to create and submit short educational films about living with and managing severe allergies. Parker’s 13-year-old son James Wilke has severe peanut and hazelnut allergies, and so she knows the risk of anaphylaxis firsthand, Mylan said.

“As an actor and producer, she also knows how the power of film can be used to spotlight the real experiences of people at risk for anaphylaxis and used as a tool to help to educate others. It was a natural fit to partner for our educational efforts,” said Nina Devlin, Mylan head of global communications, in an email interview.

Last week, Parker appeared on “The View” talk show to discuss the campaign, telling the hosts the campaign with Mylan is “an opportunity to talk about what it means to be ready … and to encourage people to be as ready as they can.”

Devlin said Parker will continue to participate in media interviews and will support the campaign through social media.

A panel of judges, including allergy experts and advocacy organizations, will select 5 films from the submissions to be shown at a New York premiere this fall, headlined by Parker. The films will also be posted online at anaphylaxis101.com.

While this latest push complements Mylan’s just-bowed “Face Your Risk” campaign, it’s actually part of Mylan’s Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis program that began in 2012.

Dr. Hemant Sharma, chief of Allergy and Immunology at Children's National Health System in Washington, DC, and one of the film judges, said, “Our goal with this initiative is to have the real-life, everyday stories of those who deal with life-threatening allergies firsthand shine a spotlight on the urgent need to increase education about the importance of being ready to respond if anaphylaxis occurs.”

Mylan is the maker of EpiPen, the leading brand of epinephrine pens to treat severe allergic reactions with an estimated 85% share.

by Beth Snyder Bulik | May 9, 2016


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