“Tame your wolf, tame your lupus”

© Lupus Europe

Lupus is an autoimmune connective tissue disease which attacks one or more organs. With variable systemic reactions and complex manifestations, lupus raises significant social challenges in terms of family and employment. So far, there are only few treatment options beyond the basic anti-malarial, corticosteroids and immune-suppressants; all aimed at keeping lupus at bay.

Lupus disease is referred to as a great imitator because it is similar to many other conditions, which sometimes lead to misdiagnosis. Nine out of ten people diagnosed are women. The average age at the time of detection is in the mid-30s, with an average of seven years to reach a diagnosis[1]. About 500,000 people in Europe are diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus[2].

“Tame your wolf, tame your lupus” is the name of the new awareness-raising campaign launch by the patient organization Lupus Europe. “With this campaign we hope to be able not only to increase awareness on lupus, but also to promote better management of people’s lupus and a feeling of empowerment”, said Kirsten Lerstrom, Chair of Lupus Europe. “The idea of taming the wolf is a strong message: it is possible for lupus patients to actively participate in our own care and tame our disease.”

Change of career, pain and fatigue are the main difficulties associated with lupus: only about half of people with lupus are still in the active workforce a few years after diagnosis. Those who do remain do so on reduced terms: lupus must be tamed!

Despite many clinical trials over the past decade, only one compound has been approved for market by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The one and only new drug for lupus in more than 50 years!

More information: http://lupus-europe.eu/

[1] C. Gordon et al, Rheumatology, 2013

“The substantial burden of systemic lupus erythematosus on the productivity and careers of patients: a European patient-driven online survey”

[2] Bertsias G et al, EULAR Recommendations for the management of systemic lupus erythematosus. Report of a task forceof the EULAR Standing Committee for International Clinical Studies Including Therapeutics. AnnRheum Dis2008;67(2):195-205