Most people have probably never heard of compassionate use (“expanded access”), but I’d like to help change that.
Because it can save lives.
I’ll steal the Mayo Clinic’s clean-cut definition of compassionate use which is “a way for people with life-threatening illnesses to get access to experimental treatments.”
I bring this up because about a month ago I was watching the TV show The Doctors (yea I’m a dork and love this show) and saw a segment on a man named Nick Auden – husband and father – who had stage 4 Melanoma. There happened to be a new drug still in trials that had a good chance of basically curing his cancer, but the drug company was denying him compassionate use. Their excuse was that it hadn’t been tested enough, but he was going to die without it so there was really no risk.
Well, I got an email today (because I signed a petition to help get him the compassionate use) saying that Nick had passed away last Friday. The drug company never did allow compassionate use of the drug.
I don’t even know this man and I’m sad for his family and pissed off at the drug company for being words I can’t even say in this blog.
I guess this just hits so close to home because I know how many experimental drugs there are for CF and if there was one out there that could save my life when I was on my deathbed, well, that would suck. For me. And for my entire family. And friends.
You would think since a company is making life-saving drugs that they would actually care about saving people’s lives. Buttttttt they don’t. This case proves it more than ever that they really only care about the money.
I’m not sure how we can change all the rules behind compassionate use, but something needs changed for extenuating circumstances like this to help save lives…maybe even mine one day.
Here’s an article if you want to read more about Nick and his story http://nydn.us/IL5iLX