A new survey shows patients strongly agree it is important to receive treatment information from their general practitioner and pharmacists to tackle their iron deficiency, a condition affecting 1.1 million Australians1,2
Sydney, 25 November 2022 – Across the world there is a growing number of patients who are being diagnosed with iron deficiency. In Australia over 1 million Australians are living with the condition and iron deficiency is a well-known, yet underdiagnosed and undertreated longstanding issue in women’s health, with at least 1 in 5 women under 50 having iron deficiency3. The prevalence of iron deficiency in vegans and vegetarians can be as high as 30% in adult men and women4.
Kristy Mitchell, an Australian mother living with iron deficiency, said: “It would take me at least three coffees to get through the day. The level of tiredness I felt was hard to describe, it made exercising difficult which I feel is crucial for your mental health. Being diagnosed with iron deficiency was a relief because it made me realise I wasn’t losing my spark, I could do something to fix this and get back to exercising and working a normal day. I was diagnosed again during my pregnancy and to support my baby and I, I took supplements throughout my pregnancy and for six months following.”
Like Kristy, many women living with the deficiency rely on iron supplements to meet their daily iron needs. Viatris’ recently commissioned survey of Australians who have been previously diagnosed with iron deficiency found that Australian consumers are looking to their general practitioner (GP) for information on what may be the best supplement for them, and whether it is backed by a credible source2.
The survey of 500 Australians previously diagnosed with iron deficiency in the last two years and recommended a therapeutic oral iron supplement showed more than two thirds (71 per cent) of these respondents agreed it is important their general practitioner provides necessary information they need on iron supplements, with 69 per cent preferring to use the iron supplement recommended by their GP.2
“The data further demonstrates that the role of a GP is fundamental in the treatment and prevention of iron deficiency. As GP shortages continue to rise, it has never been more important for us to offer patient education programs to raise awareness of iron deficiency. We know that iron deficiency may cause serious complications such as fatigue, headaches, restless legs syndrome, and can exacerbate symptoms for people with underlying heart problems. For women, iron deficiency in pregnancy is particularly important to identify and treat. Therefore, it’s important to have adequate patient education on the condition, as well as an increase in pharmacists’ knowledge on the right supplement for the individual,” said Dr Renee Eslick, leading specialist haematologist and founding member of the Haematology in Obstetrics and Women’s Health Collaborative.
As part of their continued commitment to address iron deficiency in Australia, Viatris awarded an unrestricted research grant to University of Western Australia’s Lawrence-Brown Professor of Vascular Surgery, Professor Toby Richards, for his research into a simple screening tool from The Iron Clinic that will be able to predict the likelihood for iron deficiency from a questionnaire and finger prick test. This will be a significant, innovative step forward in the screening process as current blood iron tests require formal laboratory samples. Although traditional blood tests will still be a more accurate form of testing and diagnostics, this new development may promote community-based screening as individuals can be screened without needing to visit a doctor.
“Viatris is committed to empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life, and improving health often begins from the inside out. This year our established women’s brand Ferro-grad C is sponsoring Wellbeing’s Women of the Year Awards to celebrate women who rise above the odds to contribute significantly and meaningfully to their community. We are proud to continue to invest in the whole patient journey, from research to patient education and support to increase access to healthcare,” said Sylvain Vigneault, Viatris Australia Country Manager.
Communications Manager, Viatris Australia and New Zealand
M: 0449 902 687
Notes to the Editor:
Viatris Inc. (NASDAQ: VTRS) is a new kind of healthcare company, empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life. We provide access to medicines, advance sustainable operations, develop innovative solutions and leverage our collective expertise to connect more people to more products and services through our one-of-a-kind Global Healthcare Gateway®. Formed in November 2020, Viatris brings together scientific, manufacturing and distribution expertise with proven regulatory, medical, and commercial capabilities to deliver high-quality medicines to patients in more than 165 countries and territories. Viatris' portfolio comprises more than 1,400 approved molecules across a wide range of therapeutic areas, spanning both non-communicable and infectious diseases, including globally recognised brands, complex generic and branded medicines, a portfolio of biosimilars and a variety of over-the-counter consumer products. With approximately 37,000 colleagues globally, Viatris is headquartered in the U.S., with global centers in Pittsburgh, Shanghai and Hyderabad, India. Learn more at viatris.com and investor.viatris.com, and connect with us on Twitter at @ViatrisInc, LinkedIn and YouTube.
- Pasricha et al., 2010. Diagnosis and management of iron deficiency anaemia; a clinical update. MJA, 193: 525 -532.
- Section V How respondents learned about iron deficiency products. Viatris. 2022. Data on file.
- Ahmed F. Iron status among Australian adults: findings of a population-based study in Queensland, Australia. Asia PacJ Clin Nutri 2008;17(1):40-47
- Pawlak R et al. Iron status of vegetarian adults: a review of literature. Analytic Review. 2018