Sanofi-aventis launches ‘I Am A Champ’ program to celebrate diabetes control
12/22/2010

C K Hayaran from Bhopal amongst 7 National diabetes champions announced at a first-of-its-kind national awards ceremony

Online PR News – 22-December-2010 – – Bhopal: The ‘I Am A Champ’ program for Diabetes Control was launched by Dr. Shailesh Ayyangar, Managing Director, Aventis Pharma Limited (sanofi-aventis Group) India, at the ‘I Am A Champ’ awards ceremony.

The ‘I Am A Champ’ Awards are India’s first ever National Diabetes Awards to recognize champions from across India, who have managed to control their diabetes successfully. The winners have demonstrated that diabetes can be controlled through a blend of medicine compliance, necessary lifestyle changes in diet and exercise; and most importantly, a positive attitude.

Sanofi-aventis received entries for the ‘I Am A Champ’ Awards from over 5,000 diabetes patients on Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA] injection) across 45 Indian cities. The patients were nominated by their respective consulting physicians who also later validated the medical aspects of each entry.

The validated nomination forms were initially shortlisted based on the consulting physicians’ scoring. These forms and 1-minute video entries by the participants were then carefully analyzed by a judging panel that comprised renowned personalities such as model and doctor - Aditi Govitrikar, fitness expert – Leena Mogre, celebrity chef – Tarla Dalal, distinguished psychiatrist – Dr. Anjali Chabbria, popular actor and television host – Gaurav Kapur and Associate Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences – Dr. Srilatha Juvva. The champs were assessed on various parameters such as their understanding of diabetes, awareness about diabetes complications, their fitness and diet regime, and the ‘champ’ factor.

The panel selected 7 winners each from six regions across India. Of these 42 regional winners, 7 were then selected to become the first ever sanofi-aventis ‘National Diabetes Champs’. [The number 7 signifies the optimum HbA1c level required to keep diabetes under check.]

Speaking at the ceremony Dr. Shailesh Ayyangar, Managing Director, Aventis Pharma Ltd. said, “The burgeoning diabetes epidemic makes it essential to create awareness about diabetes control. The sanofi-aventis’ ‘I Am A Champ’ program will help patients who are in control to reach out to others with their inspiring testimonials. Treatment regime must be complemented by a more comprehensive approach to diabetes management for the health and well-being of a patient. Indeed, the response this program has received shows that patients too recognize the need for peer-to-peer counseling.”

The awards ceremony is the first step to kick start the ‘I Am A Champ’ program which is based on the model of peer-to-peer counseling. Sanofi-aventis will provide the 42 diabetes Champs with platforms throughout the year to create awareness about diabetes control and management amongst other diabetes patients and caregivers in their respective cities.

Susheel Umesh, Senior Director – Commercial Operations (Diabetes & Tier l), said, “While much is known about the disease and related complications, there is a greater need for awareness about controlling A1C levels in order to effectively manage diabetes. Through the ‘I Am A Champ’ program, patients and caregivers will now know that a positive attitude and few lifestyle changes to support their treatment regime can empower them to improve their health and well-being. Sanofi-aventis is proud to honor these 42 Champs who symbolize triumph over diabetes and are a beacon of hope for countless other diabetics who often believe that ‘life is over’ once they are diagnosed with diabetes”.

Susheel Umesh further added, “The power of the program lies in the positive influence a patient can have over another. Though diabetes drugs and customized treatment options are critical, what is also imperative is the encouragement a patient receives from another saying ‘I did it, so can you’. ”

Seventy one year old C.K. Hayaran from Bhopal is amongst the seven National diabetes champs announced at the awards ceremony. Says Mr. Hayaran, “When I discovered I was diabetic, it took me time to come to terms with the disease and overcome the psychological pain. My family was very supportive but there was little they could do. I needed fellow patients to discuss my concerns with. This is why I am so pleased to be part of the ‘I Am A Champ’ program which provides a platform for diabetics to share their experiences, fears, frustrations and triumphs with one another.”

There were also five Regional winners from Bhopal – Ms. Rekha Nahariya, Ms. Reena Agarwal, Mr. Ismail Qureshi, Ms. Deepika Naware and Ms. Indira Goyal.

The sanofi-aventis ‘I Am A Champ’ program is a patient-driven program that aims to create awareness about diabetes risk and management, through diabetics who have been successful in managing and controlling the disease and are an inspiration to fellow diabetics. Sanofi-aventis has developed this program to support patients in controlling their HbA1C levels in order to effectively manage diabetes.

The annual ‘I Am A Champ’ awards ceremony, India’s first ever Diabetes Awards is the starting point of the program in order to select Champions from across various regions in the country who in their role as ‘Champions of Diabetes’ will be the FACE and VOICE of this awareness program in their respective cities. Sanofi-aventis will provide the 42 Champs with platforms throughout the year to share their testimonials and create awareness amongst other diabetes patients in their respective cities and address their concerns on managing the disease.

The Regional and National winners have been selected from the following regions:

Region Cities
North Lucknow, Delhi, Ghaziabad, Dehradun, Jhansi, Kanpur, Varanasi, Meerut, Karnal, Chandigarh, Ambala, Ludhiana, Jaipur
West 1 Mumbai, Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot
West 2 Pune, Nagpur, Raipur, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Indore, Jalgaon
Central Hyderabad, Bangalore, Vijayawada
East Patna, Guwahati, Kolkata, Tripura, Bhubaneshwar, Burdwan, Asansol, Durgapur, Katwa, Siliguri, Ranchi, Rourkela
South Coimbatore, Chennai, Trissur, Cochin, Madurai

The ‘I Am A Champ’ Awards aims to recognize people who are controlling their diabetes through medicine compliance, necessary lifestyle adaptations and most importantly, a positive attitude.

About sanofi-aventis Group: Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi-aventis in India operates through four entities - Aventis Pharma Limited, Sanofi-Synthelabo (India) Limited, Sanofi Pasteur India Private Limited and Shantha Biotechnics. Sanofi-aventis and its 100% subsidiary Hoechst GmbH are the major shareholders of Aventis Pharma Limited and together hold 60.4% of its paid-up share capital. Sanofi-Synthelabo (India) Limited and Sanofi Pasteur are 100% subsidiaries of sanofi-aventis Group. Aventis Pharma Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange. The Company focuses its activities on seven major therapeutic areas namely – Cardiovascular diseases, Metabolic Disorders, Thrombosis, Oncology, Central Nervous System disorders, Internal Medicine and Vaccines.

About Diabetes: Diabetes is a chronic, widespread condition in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, the hormone needed to transport glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cells of the body for energy. More than 230 million people worldwide are living with the disease and this number is expected to rise to a staggering 350 million within 20 years. According to the World Health Organization estimates, India had 32 million diabetic subjects in the year 2000 and this number would increase to 80 million by the year 2030. The International Diabetes Federation has reported that the 50.8 million diabetic subjects in India in 2010 would rise to 87 million by the year 2030. It is quite evident from the above observations that diabetes has become a major health problem in India.