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If idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) has affected you, you are not alone. The Esbriet Ambassadors and their families are living with IPF too. Meet the ambassadors and discover their stories in the videos and biographies below.

Who are the Esbriet Ambassadors?

The Esbriet Ambassadors are people who are sharing their life stories and treatment experiences, helping to raise awareness and understanding about IPF and Esbriet® (pirfenidone).

Pete’s Story

Hear how Pete found out his diagnosis, and how he works with his doctors to manage his IPF. 

Janet’s Story

Find out why Janet and her doctor chose Esbriet to treat her IPF, and how she stayed motivated during treatment.

Patient Support Services

Hear from other patients about the Esbriet support options that have helped them and their loved ones.

Gary’s Story

Hear how Gary started treatment and how he manages his side effects while on Esbriet.

Learn how Esbriet Ambassadors made their treatment decisions

Patient Ambassador Terril


Esbriet Ambassador
From: New Smyrna Beach, FL
Job: Retired (Nurse Practitioner)

"Knowing there was something I could do to treat IPF made the weight of the diagnosis a little easier to manage."

Patient Ambassador Jay


Esbriet Ambassador
From: Richmond, VA
Job: Retired (Family Care Practitioner/ Professor)

"I wasn't ready to acknowledge IPF's severity and my need for medication. I had to have been in denial. However, the following year, my test results showed another five percent drop in lung function, so I decided to revisit my treatment options. My doctor and I decided to start Esbriet® (pirfenidone)."

Patient Ambassador Dave


Esbriet Ambassador
From: Beaver Falls, PA
Job: Retired (School Psychologist)

"My pulmonologist pointed out to us that I'd been diagnosed early. That meant I could start treatment sooner rather than later. He gave me literature about treatments that may slow the progression of IPF. I took them home and my wife and I studied them. My pulmonologist and I agreed that Esbriet® (pirfenidone) might be a good choice for me."

Learn about ways to get support for your journey

Patient Ambassador John


Esbriet Ambassador
From: Hillsborough, NJ
Job: Consultant

"I started participating in a local support group where I'm able to talk with other people who have many of the same issues I have. And if I'm going through it, then others likely are too. Being able to listen and share has been incredibly helpful."

Patient Ambassador Frank


Esbriet Ambassador
From: Hampden, MA
Job: Retired (Mutual Life Agent)

"During the first 4 months of being on Esbriet® (pirfenidone), both my wife and I met with Barbara, a Clinical Education Manager (CEM) from Genentech.* Each meeting, we covered any issues I may be having while taking Esbriet, as well as dealing with IPF…we discussed our concerns and feelings about my diagnosis and living with IPF. She wasn't a doctor and didn't give me medical advice, but each time we came away feeling uplifted and encouraged about my journey. By our last meeting with Barbara, I felt confident that I knew what was going on and when to call my doctor if something comes up."

Patient Ambassador Socorro


Esbriet Ambassador
 Bakersfield, CA
Job: Retired (Dept. of Human Services)

"When I found out my insurance was changing I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to continue taking Esbriet® {pirfenidone), but I really appreciated how everyone came together to help me stay on Esbriet. In my experience, I was able to work with my doctor and representatives from Genentech Access Solutions to find assistance options to help cover the cost of my Esbriet."

*CEMs are Genentech employees who educate about IPF and Esbriet® (pirfenidone). They do not provide medical advice. If you have questions about your health or treatment, you are encouraged to contact your healthcare provider.

Learn how Esbriet Ambassadors navigated treatment

Patient Ambassador Pete


Esbriet Ambassador
From: Chelsea, MI
Job: Flight Instructor

"Because Esbriet needs to be taken with food, I developed a system for when I eat so that I stick to my dosage protocol. I haven’t had problems with either my liver or my stomach. I’ve always had some sensitivity to the sun. I noticed it was somewhat worse once I started Esbriet. I made sure that I always had sunscreen, especially for my eyelids, and I tried to limit my time outside."

Patient Ambassador Rudy


Esbriet Ambassador
From: Somerset, NJ
Job: Professor of Italian Renaissance History

"I think it’s so important for me to stay on treatment as my doctor recommends. It's all about doing what I can to help slow the decline in my lung function for as long as possible."

Patient Ambassador Jim


Esbriet Ambassador
From: Sudbury, MA
Job: Retired (General Contractor)

"When I have questions about side effects, I call my doctor’s office. From the beginning, I got on a first-name basis with the nurse practitioner, and she helped me an awful lot. Communication with your healthcare team is very important, so never hesitate to contact them. I always let them know when I need help dealing with a problem."

Many of the Esbriet Ambassadors pictured together in early 2020

Patient Ambassador Group Photo
Learn about financial assistance


Find out how Esbriet may help, and additional questions to ask your doctor about Esbriet.

Become an Esbriet Ambassador


If you would like to share your story about living with or caring for someone with IPF as an Esbriet Ambassador, we want to hear from you. Contact us at 1-844-524-9033.

Become an Esbriet Ambassador


Learn more about community support groups for people with IPF and their families, both in-person and online.

About Esbriet

Esbriet® (pirfenidone) is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

It is not known if Esbriet is safe and effective in children.

Before you take Esbriet, tell your doctor if you:
  • have other medical conditions (particularly liver or kidney problems).
  • are a smoker.
  • are or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed (Esbriet has not been studied in these patients).
  • are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
What are the possible side effects of Esbriet?

Esbriet may cause serious side effects, including:

  • liver problems. Call your doctor if you have symptoms such as yellowing of your skin or eyes, dark or brown urine, pain on the upper right side of your stomach area, bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, or increased fatigue. Your doctor will also do regular blood tests to check your liver.
  • sun sensitivity and rash. When you are outside, use sunscreen (SPF 50) and wear a hat and clothes that cover your skin to avoid getting a sunburn.
  • stomach problems. Esbriet may cause stomach problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn, and stomach pain.

Your doctor may change your dose or discontinue Esbriet if side effects do not go away.

The most common side effects of Esbriet include upper respiratory tract infections, feeling tired, headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, sinusitis, insomnia, or weight loss.

These are not all the possible side effects of Esbriet.

What should you avoid while taking Esbriet?
  • Direct exposure to sunlight, or light from sunlamps and tanning beds.
  • Other medicines that can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
  • Smoking, which may affect how well Esbriet works.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or or to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information, for additional important safety information.

    • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Advance notice of methodological changes for calendar year (CY) 2018 for Medicare Advantage (MA) capitation rates, Part C and Part D payment policies and 2018 call letter. Posted February 1, 2017. Accessed October 17, 2017.

      Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Advance notice of methodological changes for calendar year (CY) 2018 for Medicare Advantage (MA) capitation rates, Part C and Part D payment policies and 2018 call letter. Posted February 1, 2017. Accessed October 17, 2017.