September 19, 2005

jk in clinical trial

A little personal news. I was just informed that I have been accepted to participate in a clinical trial. The guy who blogs and whines about the importance of medical research will now put his soon-to-be-perforated body where his mouth is.

Oddly enough, though, it is a gub'mint funded study. The National Institute of Health wants to study the effects of two different manufacturers' products when taken together. My neurologist informed me that the pharmaceutical companies were not interested.

The two most popular treatments for my flavor of MS (RRMS) are Copaxone and Avonex. This study aims to test the value of taking both. I am one of 1,000 participants, all of whom will perform all of the eight weekly injections (OW!) and all of whom will be assured of getting at least one of the medications.

The odds are even (500-500) that I will get both. But 250 lucky souls will be injecting a placebo dose of Copaxone every day, and 250 will get a weekly, intramuscular "blank" of Avonex. All the participants, like me, have never taken any medication for MS. They call it "drug-naive, I call myself a virgin.

In addition to seeing my regular neurologist, I will also see a "blind" doctor who just evaluates me, get tests from the nurses at the research lab coordinating the study, and lie still for a very long sequence of MRIs every six months. For three years, the guy who runs from Doctors will be all but living with them. Like Jane Goodall, it's for science, man! It's for science.

The plus side is that I'll get three years of medication paid for, um, by you guys. And my condition has deteriorated in the past couple of months, it will be good to see what treatment can do.

I am excited to begin. Through heavy trepidation, I found that I was quite concerned that I would not be accepted. Some part of me wants to do this and I was happy to hear of my acceptance.

I will probably start medication this week.


Posted by John Kranz at 7:09 PM