Grifols Shines Light on Rare Disease with Launch of Educational Campaign "Look Into Genetic COPD"


Barcelona, Spain. February 28, 2018—Grifols (MCE:GRF, MCE:GRF.P, and NASDAQ:GRFS), a leader in the production of plasma-derived medicines and in diagnostic and hospital solutions to improve people's health, is drawing attention to a rare condition, alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency (alpha-1), also known as genetic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), by launching an unbranded education campaign for patients in the US called "Look Into Genetic COPD."

Alpha-1 can go undetected for years, which may result in serious lung disease. In fact, more than 90% of the estimated 100,000 people in the US who have alpha-1 don't know they have it. Alpha-1 is often overshadowed by patients' smoking history, even though guidelines from the World Health Organization, the American Thoracic Society, and the COPD Foundation recommend testing all people with COPD for alpha-1, regardless of their age or smoking history.

"Alpha-1 is a debilitating rare disease that is often overlooked," said Bill Zabel, President, Grifols North America Sales and Commercial Operations. "Imagine suffering from a disease you don't know you have. As a market leader and longstanding partner to the alpha-1 patient community, Grifols aims to help patients find answers about their condition, so they can make informed decisions."

The "Look Into Genetic COPD" campaign enables patients with COPD in the US to determine if they have alpha-1 by offering a free AlphaKit™ test that can be ordered directly from the website. The AlphaKit is delivered directly to the patient, who must then bring the test kit to their healthcare provider's office to get tested. The quick and easy finger-stick test takes less than 10 minutes for the healthcare provider to perform, and results are processed and delivered free of charge. Testing for alpha-1 is needed just once in a lifetime.

"Imagine suffering with COPD symptoms, like chronic wheezing, coughing, and feeling like you can't catch your breath. Reaching undiagnosed patients with Alpha-1 is important so that additional treatment options can be discussed," said Dr. Robert Sandhaus, Professor of Medicine, Director, Alpha-1 Program, National Jewish Health. "Grifols' ‘Look Into Genetic COPD' campaign is bringing much-needed attention to Alpha-1 and provides the tools that patients with COPD need to have conversations about Alpha-1 with their doctors. Every person with COPD should order this test."

Patients with COPD should visit to learn about alpha-1 and request their free AlphaKit test so that they can be tested by a healthcare professional. Getting tested is the only way to know if they're part of the 90% of undiagnosed patients with alpha-1.