SOURCE: Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.

March 20, 2008 10:31 ET

SPECIAL EVENT: Dr. Judith Reichman Brings "Straight Talk on Women's GI Health" to Orlando

Digestive Health Education Seminar to Occur Just Before "Menopause The Musical®" Performance

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwire - March 20, 2008) - Women attending the March 28th performance of "Menopause The Musical®" at The Plaza Theatre at 425 North Bumby Avenue will have the opportunity to talk about digestive health with nationally recognized women's health specialist Dr. Judith Reichman. This special event is part of "Straight Talk on Women's GI Health" ("Straight Talk"), a national campaign to educate women on digestive health, including chronic constipation, and encourage them to speak with their healthcare providers about the condition.

"I am excited to talk with the women of Orlando and share information to help them get relief from the digestive health conditions that come as women mature," said Dr. Reichman, a practicing physician, TODAY show contributor, author, and spokeswoman for the "Straight Talk" campaign. "This partnership with 'Menopause The Musical®' enables us to talk about women's health awareness and digestive health directly with women at a specific moment in time when they are already discussing personal health topics."

Chronic constipation, one of the most common digestive complaints in the U.S., affects up to 42 million adults in America, and is more prevalent in women than men. According to a nationwide survey conducted among women age 40 and older for "Straight Talk" by Braun Research, only about a quarter recognized constipation as a common part of aging. This survey also showed that 82 percent of women with chronic constipation have taken over-the-counter medications for relief; however, nearly 60 percent of these women report that the treatments only work some of the time or not at all. "Straight Talk" gives women the information and tools they need to take control of their digestive health.

"Straight Talk" partners Dr. Reichman and the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), both of whom are longtime campaigners for women's health.

Together, they stress that women should take care of the symptoms and discomfort of chronic constipation. An action plan, developed with a woman's healthcare provider and using the tools provided by "Straight Talk," will help her manage the impact of constipation.

"A woman's physician can find the appropriate treatment to manage her condition and there may be simple steps she can take to manage constipation," says Dr. Reichman.

"Menopause The Musical®" is an entertaining musical production that salutes women who are experiencing "The Change." Through its lighthearted, yet poignant, manner it encourages women to talk to each other and feel comfortable about changes that occur in their bodies. Just before the show, "Straight Talk" will host this one-night-only discussion and Q&A session with Dr. Reichman.

"Straight Talk" is giving away six tickets to the March 28th production of "Menopause The Musical®." The winners will also be treated to a meet and greet session with the cast members. More information about the "Straight Talk" campaign and "Menopause The Musical®" ticket giveaway can be found on www.GIStraightTalk.com. This website also houses educational tools, including a free brochure on methods to alleviate symptoms, tips on how to improve digestive health, how to talk to one's healthcare provider, and much more. Visit www.menopausethemusical.com for more information on the show.

About the Partnership

The "Straight Talk" campaign is designed to encourage women age 40 and older to talk to their healthcare providers about their digestive health, specifically chronic constipation. It brings together three complementary entities with the common goal of empowering women and furthering their health awareness. Two partners help make this happen, including the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) and "Menopause The Musical®."

As these women begin dialogues with their healthcare providers, they will be encouraged to begin a new chapter in their health paradigm. They will re-engage with society, learn how to get back to a sense of normalcy, take a more active role in their quality of life and, most importantly, become more empowered about their health.

About Chronic Constipation

Constipation is defined as unsatisfactory defecation that is characterized by infrequent stools, difficult stool passage or both. Difficult stool passage includes: straining; hard or lumpy stools; difficulty passing stool; incomplete evacuation; prolonged time to stool; or the need for manual maneuvers to pass stool. Symptoms must persist for at least three months for the condition to be considered chronic.

About "Menopause The Musical"

Since March 2001, "Menopause The Musical®" has entertained and inspired women from coast-to-coast and internationally. The work of writer Jeanie Linders, "Menopause The Musical®" is a 90-minute production which includes 25 re-lyricized tunes from the 1960s and 1970s and culminates with a salute to women who are experiencing "The Change."

Set in a department store, where four women with seemingly nothing in common but a black lace bra meet by chance, the musical pokes fun at things such as hot flashes, memory loss, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats and eating binges.

The show's intended message is that menopause is a passage, but it should no longer be "The Silent Passage." It is a stage in every woman's life that is perfectly normal.

"Menopause The Musical®" encourages a healthy dialogue about issues of aging and women's health and provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness with female audiences.

Since its first performance, "Menopause The Musical®" has evolved into a grassroots women's movement that targets the interests, needs, and sensibilities of women over 40 through me* Magazine, an art show -- the visual celebration of women over 40, and a nonprofit charity, the Jeanie C. Linders Fund, which is underwritten by sales from the show's product and souvenir line.

About the Sponsors

The "Straight Talk on Women's GI Health" campaign is sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Based in Deerfield, IL, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. Sucampo Pharmaceuticals is an emerging pharmaceutical company based in Bethesda, MD.