News Release

Media Contact

Kristin Bhavnani
Head of Global Corporate Communications
Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc

Send Email
Ireland: +353 1 637 2141
US: 215-867-4948


March 05, 2007
Actress Kate Walsh of 'Grey's Anatomy' Leads Campaign as Spokesperson

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 5, 2007 -- For the second year in a row, Jazz Pharmaceuticals will be supporting the Narcolepsy Network's national campaign to raise awareness of narcolepsy, a debilitating sleep-wake disorder.

Kate Walsh, one of the stars on the hit television show, "Grey's Anatomy," is spokesperson for this year's campaign and will be featured in a series of public service announcements aimed at raising awareness of narcolepsy.

Walsh has filmed three public service announcements that are being distributed at the beginning of National Sleep Awareness Week®, an annual public education, information and awareness campaign, which this year takes place from March 5 - 11. Both National Sleep Awareness Week and the launch of this narcolepsy awareness campaign coincide with the return to Daylight Saving Time on March 11, when clocks spring forward and everyone loses an hour of sleep. Beginning in 2007, most of the United States will begin Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday of March as opposed to the first in April, which has been the norm since 1966.

In addition to the public service announcements, the Narcolepsy Network has produced an educational brochure and DVD on the subject of narcolepsy which will be distributed to physician offices across the country and made available to the public via its website,, and a toll-free number: 1-888-SLEEP-67.

"Jazz Pharmaceuticals is proud to partner again with the Narcolepsy Network on this important initiative," said Samuel Saks, M.D., CEO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals. "Educating the public about narcolepsy is extremely vital. Many people needlessly suffer because they don't seek treatment."

"We are very grateful for Jazz Pharmaceuticals' support in raising awareness of narcolepsy," said Sharon D. Smith, president of the Narcolepsy Network. "This campaign is a great way for us to reach the thousands of people across the country who have narcolepsy, but have not sought diagnosis or treatment."

About Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a chronic, debilitating neurological disorder, the primary symptoms of which are excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), disrupted nighttime sleep, and cataplexy. The hallmark symptom of narcolepsy is excessive and overwhelming daytime sleepiness, even after having adequate time to sleep at night. EDS is present in 100% of narcolepsy patients and causes people to become drowsy or fall asleep, often at inappropriate times and places. Disrupted nighttime sleep may contribute to disturbed wakefulness and can affect daytime functionality and quality of life. Cataplexy, the sudden loss of muscle tone, is the most predictive symptom of narcolepsy. Cataplexy can range from slight weakness or a drooping of the face to the complete loss of muscle tone and is triggered by strong emotional reactions such as laughter, anger or surprise. Other symptoms of narcolepsy include hallucinations at sleep onset and upon waking and sleep paralysis.

People with narcolepsy may get as much sleep as people without narcolepsy, but the sleep is inappropriately distributed throughout a 24-hour period. Nighttime sleep is disrupted by multiple awakenings, resulting in waking without feeling refreshed, and episodes of sleep (excessive daytime sleepiness or involuntary nap attacks) can occur during the day.

Nearly 1 in 2,000 people are afflicted by narcolepsy in the United States, but fewer than 50,000 are diagnosed. Narcolepsy is as widespread as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis and more prevalent than cystic fibrosis, but it is less well known. Narcolepsy is often mistaken for depression, epilepsy, or the side effects of medications.

About the Narcolepsy Network
The Narcolepsy Network is a national non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of narcolepsy and related sleep disorders. Founded in 1986, the Narcolepsy Network's primary focus is to improve the lives of those with the life-long neurological sleep disorder, narcolepsy. The Network provides assistance to support groups dedicated to the thousands of individuals afflicted with this disorder. The work of the Narcolepsy Network goes beyond those diagnosed with narcolepsy. The Network is committed to educating the public and encouraging on-going scientific research in sleep medicine. For further information, visit, or call 1-888-SLEEP-67.

About Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals is focused on helping patients by addressing unmet medical needs in neurology and psychiatry with important and innovative therapeutic products. Jazz Pharmaceuticals is aggressively building its product portfolio through a combination of commercialization and development activities. Based in Palo Alto, California, the company is committed to working closely with patients, patient advocacy groups and healthcare professionals. For further information, please visit

For more information contact:

Mark Leonard
Next Level Communications