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F.D.A. Approves New MS Drug

Here we go again. Earlier this week the FDA approved an MS drug, Tysabri, and many expect sales of this drug will reach more than two billion dollars per year. I find it very interesting that this about the amount of sales that Vioxx had before it was taken off the market. Even though this drug is approved doctors and analysts say that it is far from a cure and can you believe that long-term data on safety and efficacy are still lacking?

The F.D.A. approved the drug based on only one year's worth of data from clinical trials, rather than the two customarily required. There are nearly half a million Americans with MS and about 10% of them have tried and failed the earlier "miracle" drug for MS, interferon. I don't recommend interferon for anyone as they have many harmful effects on the brain.

Any guess what this new drug will cost? Experts estimate that the cost will be about $14,000 to $17,000 a year, and some analysts say the price will be much higher. No surprise. Another expensive drug solution that in no way shape or form treats the problem, but does an incredible job at lining the pockets of the drug company that developed it.

I find this particularly tragic in light of the fact that there are so many effective natural tools that work so well for MS. I regularly see many patients with MS who routinely experience dramatic improvement with these strategies. One of the main strategies is to immediately discontinue interferon. I assure that if I see any patient that comes in on this new drug I will request that they discontinue it immediately.

New York Times November 24, 2004

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