Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Medical Studies

Pharmaceutical companies go through extensive testing of a medication before the FDA will approve it and many of those tests involve human subjects - count me as one of them.

I dislike shots (I say “dislike” because hate is such a strong [yet accurate] word) and unfortunately, MS medication involves needles and you have a choice: (a) once a day; (b) three times a week; or (c) once a week (but this needle goes much deeper into your body - ouch). I was on option “b” until a month a month IV was introduced - that was two hours of my day (not to mention travel time). It should be noted that none of the current medications cured MS; they only delay its progression.

Now I have no health insurance, so I am not able to get my meds and if I do, they are in excess of $1,000+ for a one-month supply - not feasible. So what does a person do? Enter in the medical study or clinical trials.

I was accepted into a two-year double blind study (which means only the pharmaceutical company knows what I am getting) for an oral medication. There are good points and bad points to a study such as this.

The good: (a) free medication; (b) doctor appointments to make sure nothing is seriously wrong; and (c) no health insurance needed.

The bad: (a) the medication because one cannot be sure of what they are getting; (b) traveling to North County for a doctor’s appointment as they can take a large chunk out of the day and become extremely fatigue inducing; (c) not feeling as though anything is happening and only becoming aware of anything if it should be something major.

There are risks (as with all medication) and they are fully explained before you start as well as a ton of paperwork to fill out at almost every visit. Even some of the other location I go to (such as my MRI) email me a questionnaire after the visit.

The point to this rambling is that if you do not have health insurance, it might be a good option to look into a medical study to help you with some of your medical needs. You can google “medical studies” and find the one that fits you. They have studies for every major health issue.

The medication that I am taking, I have no idea if I have the real deal or not. However, I look at it this way - even if I do not have the real deal, at least I am helping those down the line.

1 comment:

  1. Della....I am so proud of you. You, my friend, are one plucky lady.

    You take your life and charge ahead. I know personally how that feels. So my hugs and kudos to you...My Dragon Friend.

    Debra Saturday ~