Sanofi-aventis U.S. and Eli Lilly and Co. have teamed up with celebrities in separate initiatives to boost awareness of diabetes and help those with the disease manage their condition.

Sanofi-aventis U.S., Paul Sorvino, Mira Sorvino, Diabetes Co-Stars, diabetes, diabetes awareness, Lantus, Lantus SoloSTAR, oral diabetes medications, Eli Lilly, F.A.C.E., Angie Stone, Anthony Anderson, Fearless African-Americans Connected and Empowered, F.A.C.E. Diabetes, Tom Joyner Morning Show, Keith Johns, Lilly Diabetes

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Sanofi, Lilly enlist stars to raise diabetes awareness

September 24th, 2010

NEW YORK – Sanofi-aventis U.S. and Eli Lilly and Co. have teamed up with celebrities in separate initiatives to boost awareness of diabetes and help those with the disease manage their condition.

This week sanofi-aventis U.S. said it has partnered with actor Paul Sorvino, who has type 2 diabetes, and his daughter, actress Mira Sorvino, to launch Diabetes Co-Stars, an awareness program aimed to help people living with diabetes and those who support them.

According to sanofi-aventis, Paul Sorvino was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2006 and, at the direction of his doctor, he began taking prescription oral diabetes medications but was still not reaching his blood sugar goals. He then asked his doctor about Lantus (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection) in the Lantus SoloSTAR pen and began taking the insulin treatment once a day at the same time each day as part of his overall diabetes treatment plan, which also includes regular exercise, a healthy diet and oral diabetes medications.

"Diabetes Co-Stars will help inspire people to find support for their diabetes journey," Paul Sorvino said in a statement. "After my diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, I was completely overwhelmed. I realized the importance of learning how to manage the condition and that I don't have to do it alone. I also worked with my doctor to discuss lifestyle changes and to find a treatment plan that works for me."

Having support from his daughter Mira has also helped him to make the right decisions, according to sanofi-aventis. "After my dad was diagnosed, I realized that I needed to quickly educate myself about his condition so that I can always be equipped with the right tools to help keep him on track with his treatment plan," stated Mira Sorvino. "I encourage everyone living with or touched by diabetes to visit to learn more and hear my dad and me talk about our experiences living with his diabetes."

Visitors to can see Paul and Mira Sorvino discuss Paul's diagnosis and how they are managing his condition. Sanofi-aventis said the site provides guidance to those who support people living with diabetes, and family and friends can find advice on lifestyle choices, healthy cooking, promoting physical activity and treatment options including insulin. The site also provides links to the sanofi-aventis U.S. Diabetes social media pages, including on Facebook and Twitter.

Eli Lilly, meanwhile, said Thursday that R&B singer-songwriter Angie Stone and actor-comedian Anthony Anderson are set to appear at the annual "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day" events as part of the pharmaceutical company's Fearless African-Americans Connected and Empowered (F.A.C.E.) Diabetes initiative.

In tandem with F.A.C.E., Stone and Anderson will be teaming up with "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" for the 9th annual Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day, which will be held on Sept. 28. Lilly said the event is the culmination of a six-month effort that seeks to motivate African-Americans to become more proactive about their health and the health of their loved ones through health screenings, immunizations, blood pressure exams and more.

This year, F.A.C.E. Diabetes, Stone and Anderson are strengthening the program's diabetes education efforts with workshops and resources in key cities. F.A.C.E. Diabetes will be part of the seven-city Doctor Day live broadcast in Atlanta; Dallas; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Philadelphia; Raleigh, N.C.; and Washington, D.C. Stone will make a special appearance in Detroit and Anderson will do so in Philadelphia, where they'll share their personal stories and inspire African-Americans to overcome key barriers to success in living with diabetes.

"Lilly and the F.A.C.E. Diabetes initiative are proud to take part in Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day to empower patients living with diabetes," commented Keith Johns, senior director of marketing for Lilly Diabetes. "We hope that these events planned in cities across the country encourage African-Americans to speak with their health care providers about desired lifestyle changes to better manage their disease."

Through F.A.C.E. Diabetes, Stone and Anderson visit local communities to raise awareness of the diabetes epidemic that affects nearly 15% of African-American adults and to encourage lifestyle changes that can help those with diabetes better manage the disease, according to Lilly. The company said research shows that 3.7 million African-Americans age 20 and older have diabetes.