Centocor launches online talk show on arthritis

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From the people who brought you the disease awareness documentary comes New Way RA, an online talk show for people with rheumatoid arthritis hosted by Inside Edition anchor Deborah Norville.

The unbranded show, produced by Remicade maker Centocor Ortho Biotech, features five segments covering general information about the disease, diet, exercise, relationship and career advice. Altogether, the segments come to about 50 minutes and are housed at www.NewWayRA.com.

In addition to Norville, who was 10 when her mother was diagnosed with the disease, the show features interviews with: Food Network host and registered dietician Ellie Krieger; Dr. W. Hayes Wilson, chief of rheumatology at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta; Laurie Ferguson, PhD of advocacy group Creaky Joints, who speaks about the impact of RA on relationships; “chronic illness coach” Rosalind Joffe; and certified fitness instructor Ellen Shmueli, who was diagnosed with RA at age 28.

“My patients frequently share with me that living with RA can be isolating,” said Dr. Wilson. “A program like New Way RA offers great expert advice and information for people living with RA to learn more about themselves and their disease, empowering them to reengage with people, interests and activities.”

The Johnson & Johnson unit drew on insights garnered from patients, company research and RA bloggers, and the bloggers will be a key audience for the site, said Centocor PR. The company hasn't decided whether to produce further episodes of the show, but there are more topics to cover, said a spokesperson.

The show's guests were reimbursed for travel expenses to attend the program taping, as was Dr. Wilson. Norville, Krieger and Joffe were paid for participating in the taping, the company said.  

In addition to Remicade, which is indicated for RA as well as Crohn's and other inflammatory conditions, Centocor Ortho Biotech makes Simponi, which won FDA approval in April for indications including moderately to severely active RA.

In 2007, Centocor produced Innerstate, an hour-long unbranded documentary looking at the lives of three people suffering from immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

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