SOURCE: GSK and Roche

April 20, 2006 11:00 ET

Baby Boom Icon Sally Field Takes on New Leading Role as Women's Health Advocate

For the First Time Field Talks Publicly About Her Diagnosis With Osteoporosis, Feelings on Aging, and Life Expectations

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 20, 2006 -- Actress Sally Field, the seemingly ageless icon of a Baby Boom generation that starts turning 60 this year, revealed that she was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis and is leading a public action campaign to educate and inspire women to fight the fragile bone disease.

Surprised by her recent diagnosis, Field chose to go public with her personal health and is launching "Rally With Sally For Bone Health(SM)," sponsored by Roche and GlaxoSmithKline. The campaign encourages women to protect themselves against fractures so they can remain active and reduce their risk of a debilitating injury.

"My generation has pushed for so much change to improve the lives of women, and today the biggest hurdle many of us face is our health," said Sally Field, the two-time Academy Award winner who has fought for women and workers' rights both on and off screen. "We've never been willing to sit back and take it -- and that includes osteoporosis too. I'm asking women to take action by talking to their doctors and joining me in this commitment at"

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weaker, more fragile and susceptible to fractures. One in two women over age 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture in her lifetime,(1) which can result in significant pain, loss of height, and may cause women to lose their ability to dress themselves, stand up, and even walk.(2) It can also lead to possible institutionalization and even death.(3)

"Today, women in their 50s and 60s are leading more active lives than past generations, and it's essential for them to take care of their bones to continue their energetic lifestyles," said Dr. Robin Dore, a rheumatologist and clinical professor of medicine at UCLA. "I'm hopeful Sally's campaign will help women understand there are effective ways to protect their bones without disrupting their busy schedules."

Sally Field Kicks Off A New Kind of 60s Revolution

"Now that I'm almost 60, I want to help change the way women live as they age. We have fought so hard in our lives for things to be better, not to accept the status quo. We surely can't stop now that we are entering this next part of our lives," said Field. "For me, treating my osteoporosis means I can strengthen my bones and continue my active lifestyle without being so afraid of breaking a bone. I can't imagine not doing everything possible to manage my osteoporosis." After being diagnosed with osteoporosis in early 2005, Field attempted lifestyle changes to slow the progression of her disease, but supplements alone were insufficient. Her doctor then recommended that she begin taking medicine, and he prescribed Boniva® (ibandronate sodium), a once-monthly tablet for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Although 44 million Americans are at risk for or affected by osteoporosis,(4) it often goes undiagnosed until a fracture occurs.(5) The Surgeon General has declared osteoporosis a public health crisis on par with smoking and obesity.(6)

An Inspiring Peek into Sally Field's Personal Life

As part of the "Rally With Sally For Bone Health" multi-media campaign, Field and Dr. Dore are urging women to understand and manage postmenopausal osteoporosis so it doesn't slow them down. By logging onto, women can join Field in making a formal commitment to maintain their bone health, a move that may improve their chances of sticking with it. They can also follow along with Field's monthly journal entries, where she shares what's new in her life and in her journey toward better bone health.

"I want to reach women in every way possible. I'm always talking to my sister and friends about changes in our bodies and our health -- like my osteoporosis -- and I want to encourage other women to do the same and also to talk to their doctor. Let's make the most of this next phase of our lives."

Free materials about osteoporosis are available by calling toll-free 877-BoneHealth (877-266-3432) or by accessing

About Boniva

Boniva Tablets are contraindicated in patients unable to stand or sit upright for at least 60 minutes, with uncorrected hypocalcemia, or with known hypersensitivity to any component of Boniva. Boniva, like other bisphosphonates administered orally, may cause upper gastrointestinal disorders such as dysphagia, esophagitis, and esophageal or gastric ulcer. Boniva is not recommended in patients with severe renal impairment. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D is important in all patients.

Patients have reported severe bone, joint and/or muscle pain after taking bisphosphonate therapy for osteoporosis. Additionally, osteonecrosis of the jaw has been reported in patients treated with bisphosphonates; most cases have been in cancer patients undergoing dental procedures.

The most commonly reported adverse events with once-monthly Boniva regardless of causality were abdominal pain (Boniva 150 mg 7.8 percent vs. Boniva 2.5 mg 5.3 percent), hypertension (6.3 percent vs. 7.3 percent), dyspepsia (5.6 percent vs. 7.1 percent), arthralgia (5.6 percent vs. 3.5 percent), nausea (5.1 percent vs. 4.8 percent) and diarrhea (5.1 percent vs. 4.1 percent). For complete prescribing information for Boniva, see contact information at the end of the news release or go to

About Roche and GlaxoSmithKline

F. Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) co-promote Boniva for the treatment and prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis in all countries except Japan. The Roche and GSK collaboration provides expertise and commitment to bringing new osteoporosis therapies to market as quickly as possible.

Roche is one of the world's leading innovation-driven healthcare groups. Its core businesses are pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche has alliances and research and development agreements with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai. For further information, visit

GSK (NYSE: GSK), one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information, visit GSK on the World Wide Web at

Editors' Note: Photos available after 1:30 p.m. EDT via AP Photo Express or Feature Photo Services link at

"Rally With Sally For Bone Health(SM)" is a registered service mark of Roche Therapeutics Inc.

(1) "Osteoporosis: Progress and Promise." National Institute of Arthritis
and Musculoskeletal Diseases. Bethesda, MD; August 2000.
(2) Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General.
Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the
Surgeon General; 2004.
(3) Doherty DA, Sanders KM, Kotowicz MA, Prince, RL, Lifetime and Five-Year
Age-Specific Risks of First and Subsequent Osteoporotic Fractures in
Postmenopausal Women. "Osteoporosis International:" 2001: 12:16-23.
(4) America's Bone Health: The State of Osteoporosis and Low Bone Mass in
Our Nation.  The National Osteoporosis Foundation: February 2002
(5) "Fast Facts," National Osteoporosis Foundation
(6) Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General.
Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the
Surgeon General; 2004.

Contact Information