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Best-Selling Author and Award-Winning Life Coach, Gail Blanke, Leads the Charge for Disease Awareness During National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month


New educational campaign, Better Breathing is Possible, featured on YouTube, is designed to teach viewers how to take action to help manage COPD.


Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), in partnership with best-selling author and award-winning life coach, Gail Blanke, announced today the launch ofBetter Breathing is Possible, an educational campaign designed to teach people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, steps to help manage their COPD and why it is beneficial. The campaign launch coincides with the World COPD Day observance, which will raise awareness among the COPD community that “It’s Not Too Late,” this year’s theme. Similarly,Better Breathing is Possibleaims to encourage people living with COPD that a combination of lifestyle changes and medication can help people breathe better.

Better Breathing is Possiblefeatures a new four-part video series, which can be found on, that shows people with COPD steps they can take to help manage their COPD. The videos also provide examples of lifestyle changes and information about a prescription treatment option that may be helpful under a physician’s supervision.

Blanke, whose mother had emphysema, a form of COPD, knows first-hand the seriousness of the condition. “My mom’s COPD caused breathing difficulties which affected her ability to participate in daily activities,” said Blanke, executive life coach, author ofThrow out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Lifeand founder, president and chief executive officer of Lifedesigns, LLC. “I found that many of the methods I use every day as a life coach helped my mom manage her disease and stay motivated. I recommend five steps to help manage COPD –Educate, Prioritize, Pace, DeclareandCelebrate– which can be practiced every day.”

Through this video series, Blanke, along with Craig Conoscenti, M.D., FCCP, medical director, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Respiratory at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., guide viewers through five steps to a COPD action plan and offer examples of how to implement them:

Educate yourselfabout your condition to help keep it from taking over your life.
Prioritize activitiesand save your energy for the things that matter most.
Pace yourselfto avoid pushing yourself too far.
Declareyour COPD action plan. Share it with friends and loved ones who support you, and make it part of your everyday life.
Celebrateyour progress and reward yourself for every accomplishment.

“COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both, is a progressive disease and many times, patients experience symptoms, like excessive coughing or wheezing, but don’t realize they have COPD,” said Dr. Conoscenti. “It’s important to understand that a key goal of any COPD treatment plan is to reduce the risk of worsening symptoms, often called exacerbations or flare ups. In addition to the five steps, light exercise, eating a healthy diet and taking a maintenance medication, like SpIriva HandiHaler, can help you manage your COPD.”

Spiriva® HandiHaler® (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder) is a once-daily bronchodilator indicated for both the maintenance treatment of bronchospasm (narrowing of the airways) associated with COPD and to reduce exacerbations.1 SPIRIVA HandiHaler was the first FDA-approved long-acting inhaled muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) and can be prescribed to patients with COPD. SPIRIVA HandiHaler provides significant improvement in lung function and increased airflow1 for 24-hours, day and night, with convenient once-daily dosing. SPIRIVA does not replace a rescue inhaler and patients may need both long-acting and rescue medicines to help manage their COPD.

It is important for patients to work closely with their physicians to determine the best course of medical treatment and lifestyle changes to aid in successful COPD management. For more information about SPIRIVA, the number one prescribed COPD maintenance therapy in the U.S.2, visit

About COPD and COPD Exacerbations

COPD is a chronic disease characterized by a restricted flow of air into and out of the lungs and loss of lung function over time. COPD is the second-leading cause of disability in the U.S.3 and each year kills 137,000 Americans – that’s about one death every four minutes.4

COPD primarily affects current and former smokers and symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing (sometimes with phlegm or mucus) and wheezing. When most severe, COPD may even limit a person’s ability to perform simple tasks such as washing and dressing. The damage in the lungs associated with COPD is not reversible, but it is treatable.

A recent study in more than 2,000 patients showed that approximately one out of five (22 percent) patients with moderate COPD had two or more exacerbations in one year.5 Hospitalizations account for 40-60 percent of the cost of care for patients with COPD and the cost is higher for patients with more severe disease.5 The cost of hospitalization for COPD patients is estimated at more than $13 billion in 2010.6

About Spiriva® HandiHaler® (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder)

SPIRIVA HandiHaler is a prescription medicine used once every day (a maintenance medicine) to control symptoms of COPD by relaxing your airways and keeping them open. COPD includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both.

SPIRIVA HandiHaler also reduces the likelihood of flare-ups and worsening of COPD symptoms (COPD exacerbations). A COPD exacerbation or flare-up is defined as an increase or new onset of more than one COPD symptom such as cough, mucus, shortness of breath and wheezing that requires medicine beyond your rescue medicine.

Important Safety Information for SPIRIVA HandiHaler

Do not use SPIRIVA HandiHaler if you are allergic to tiotropium or ipratropium (e.g., Atrovent®) or any of the ingredients in SPIRIVA. If your breathing suddenly worsens, your face, throat, lips or tongue swells, you get hives, itching or rash, stop taking SPIRIVA and seek immediate medical help.

Spiriva® HandiHaler® (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder) is not a rescue medicine and should not be used for treating sudden breathing problems.

Do not swallow SPIRIVA capsules. The contents of the capsule should only be inhaled through your mouth using the HandiHaler device.

If you have vision changes or eye pain or if you have difficulty passing urine or painful urination, stop taking SPIRIVA and call your doctor right away.

Tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, problems passing urine or an enlarged prostate, as these may worsen with SPIRIVA. Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems or are allergic to milk proteins. Ask your doctor if you are not sure. Also discuss with your doctor all the medicines you take, including eye drops.

The most common side effect with SPIRIVA is dry mouth. Others include constipation and trouble passing urine. For a complete list of reported side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Do not let the powder from the SPIRIVA capsule get into your eyes.

Dizziness and blurred vision may occur with SPIRIVA. Should you experience these symptoms, you should use caution when engaging in activities such as driving a car or operating appliances or other machines.

Read the Patient Information and the step-by-step Instructions for Use for SPIRIVA before you use your inhaler.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For full prescribing information, please visit, or call 1-800-542-6257 option #4.

Boehringer Ingelheim: Leading respiratory forward

Through research, treatments and patient-centric support services, the Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) lung health portfolio is designed to help address the challenges people living with a lung disease face every day. Leveraging the company’s cutting edge science and leadership in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), BI is researching new treatment approaches where needs persist. It is the company’s goal to make a difference in the lives of patients with COPD, asthma, lung cancer, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other respiratory diseases.

About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. Subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 44,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

As a central element of its culture, Boehringer Ingelheim pledges to act in a socially responsible manner. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim’s endeavors.

In 2011, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about $17.1 billion (13.2 billion euro). R&D expenditure in the business area Prescription Medicines corresponds to 23.5 percent of its net sales.

For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter at

Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier world®

At Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at

1 SPIRIVA HandiHaler PI March 2012.

2 IMS Health. IMS MIDAS. Nation Prescription Audit, Monthly Rx. July 2011.

3 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. COPD Speaker’s Guide Available at: Accessibility verified June 8, 2012

4 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services,NHLBI Morbidity & Mortality: 2012 Chart Book on Cardiovascular, Lung, and Blood Diseases., Accessed August 30, 2012

5 Hilleman DE, Dewan N, Malesker M, et al. Pharmacoeconomic evaluation of COPD. Chest 2000;118(5)1278-1285.

6 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Morbidity & Mortality: 2009 Chart Book on Cardiovascular, Lung, and Blood Diseases. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health; 2009

Note: These press releases were issued in the United States and are intended as reference information for U.S. investors and journalists. The information contained in each press release was accurate at the time of issuance, and Pfizer assumes no responsibility for updating the information to reflect subsequent developments.

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