All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for May 2003

Multi-Platinum Country Star Speaks Out Against Multiple Sclerosis

Clay Walker Shares Positive Message During Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month

May 15, 2003
Kansas City, Mo.,
SOURCE Teva Neuroscience, Inc.

Country music fans coast-to-coast are tuning into a different message from multi-platinum singer Clay Walker as he lends his voice to National MS Awareness Month.

Currently, Walker is one of more than 400,000 people in the United States diagnosed with MS and part of the growing number of people living with relapsing-remitting MS whose lives have been changed by MS research.

"When I was first diagnosed it was scary. No one could tell me whether I would still be able to perform and play with my children," said Walker. "It has been seven years now, and I can still do all of those things. I owe this to the research that developed the drug therapy I take and the diet and lifestyle changes I've made."

Despite the evidence that drug therapy reduces relapses in MS, a recent survey suggests about 44 percent of people living with MS remain untreated. Walker sees many of these people as he tours the country performing.

"When I hear somebody say they aren't taking any medication, it hurts my heart. It is important for people with relapsing-remitting MS to talk to their neurologist about the different drug therapy options.  I take COPAXONE(R) (glatiramer acetate injection) and it has been incredible for me," Walker said.

In addition to raising awareness for MS, Walker has been busy finalizing his seventh studio album, A Few Questions, scheduled for release this summer. The album is Walker's debut for RCA Records, the leading country music recording label. The first single and title track from the album hit radio in April, and music insiders believe it has the potential to be Walker's twelfth No. 1 single. Walker has launched a national tour to promote the new album.


The National Multiple Sclerosis Society expresses similar messages of encouragement through its consensus statement on drug treatment.  Based on the recommendation of some of the world's most experienced clinicians, the Society is now advising doctors to prescribe one of the disease modifying agents as soon as possible after being diagnosed with MS. And, the Society stresses the importance of people continuing their drug therapy.

Walker knows firsthand how difficult it can be to sort out all of the different information a person living with MS receives.  That is one reason he has decided to take a lead role in educating the MS community about the choices available and pointing the way to resources. People can hear how he is managing his MS and some of the lessons he has learned by tuning in to an exclusive hour-long online chat Tuesday, May 20 at 9 p.m. EDT at During the free event, Walker hopes to encourage his peers and their carepartners and friends to become educated about MS and, most importantly, research drug therapy options and make changes that allow them to manage their MS.

Walker hopes by sharing his story he will help at least one person find the support they need to manage this disease. While individual results may vary, he has not experienced a relapse since he started taking COPAXONE(R) (glatiramer acetate injection).

"I feel blessed to be able to continue living an active lifestyle that involves keeping up with a demanding tour schedule.  I know education is empowering, and I hope people benefit from hearing my story," Walker said.

There are many resources available to people who are newly diagnosed and their families. Educational resources can provide support and encouragement as people facing the challenges of MS finalize their drug therapy choice. Walker encourages people to have a strong relationship with their neurologist and make the most of free educational resources, including Shared Solutions(R) and MSWatch(R).

COPAXONE(R) is indicated for the reduction of the frequency of relapses in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

The most common side effects of COPAXONE(R) (glatiramer acetate injection) are redness, pain, swelling, itching, or a lump at the site of injection, flushing, chest pain, weakness, infection, pain, nausea, joint pain, anxiety, and muscle stiffness. These reactions are usually mild and seldom require professional treatment. Patients should tell their doctor about any side effects.

Some patients report a short-term reaction right after injecting COPAXONE(R). This reaction can involve flushing (feeling of warmth and/or redness), chest tightness or pain with heart palpitations, anxiety, and trouble breathing. These symptoms generally appear within minutes of an injection, last about 15 minutes, and go away by themselves without further problems.

After injecting COPAXONE(R), patients should call their doctor right away if they develop hives, skin rash with irritation, dizziness, sweating, chest pain, trouble breathing, severe pain at the injection site or other uncomfortable changes in their general health.  Patients should make no more injections until their doctor tells them to begin again.

Teva Neuroscience, Inc. markets COPAXONE(R). COPAXONE(R) is a registered trademark of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Teva Neuroscience, Inc. is a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

Shared Solutions(R) and MSWatch(R) are registered trademarks of Teva Neuroscience, Inc.

Call 1-800-887-8100 or log onto http://www.copaxone. com for more information about COPAXONE(R), Team COPAXONE(R), or multiple sclerosis.

See additional important information at http://www.copaxone. com/pi/index.html or call 1-800-887-8100 for electronic releases. For hardcopy releases, please see enclosed full prescribing information.

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