“Drug Approved. Is Disease Real?”

Malinda Wilcox, a good friend, sent me this article that should be read by everyone that has fibromyalgia or works in the medical profession. Enclosed you will find comments by another good friend Dr. Daniel Clauw. This article first appeared in the New York Times last week and was first brought to my attention by Beth Wilson whose husband is the executive editor for BBC America.

In case you haven’t yet read the article, fibromyalgia as an illness has recently come under attack by a small group of doctors that claim that pharmacutical companies have concocted the illness as a means of making money. You can find a response to Melinda’s letter and the responses by medical experts here: (content by fmnetnews)

Dear Malinda Wilcox,

New York Times writer Alex Berenson bashes pharmaceutical companies on a regular basis. But on January 14, 2008 the Times took his distrust of the drug industry too far with an insane article about Lyrica and fibromyalgia: “Drug Approved. Is Disease Real?” It’s a tale about how Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Forest Laboratories fabricated fibromyalgia so that they could make a fortune selling their drugs to patients who do not really have a disease at all—just problems adapting to the aches and pains of living!

The article trampled the reputation of fibromyalgia patients, their doctors and scientists in the field. Berenson dredged up antiquated beliefs held by three die-hard doctors who truly believe millions of Americans are faking fibromyalgia. The stale theory that pain was not real unless it could be documented with a blood test or X-ray permeated the article.

In response to Berenson’s front-page feature in the NY Times, Fibromyalgia Network solicited statements from researchers and physicians across the country. Visit our website to read what the experts have to say about fibromyalgia and share their comments with anyone who doubts that your symptoms are real.

As for the editors at the NY Times, do not hesitate to voice your opinion and let them know that they flubbed up by attacking people with fibromyalgia, a real disease. E-mail addresses for the News Department, the Public Editor, and the Managing Editor of the NY Times are given at the end of the web page postings from the experts. Feel free to include in your response a few of the valid points made by the experts and ask in your e-mail that the editors at the NY Times publish a quality article on fibromyalgia, its pain and symptoms you struggle with daily.

Don’t let the New York Times set back the amazing progress we have all made these past 20 years. Read the comments from the experts and let your voice be heard—even if it is a brief complaint.

Kindest regards,

Kristin Thorson, Editor
Fibromyalgia Network

Fibromyalgia Network … Helping Patients Since 1988

Add us (kthorson@fmnetnews.com) to your e-mail address book to
ensure that you receive updates on services and savings!

PO Box 31750 | Tucson, AZ 85751-1750 | (800) 853-2929 | http://www.fmnetnews.com

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Folllowing Rick Usher's death in December 2008, at his request in September of that year, I had agreed, as his principal contributor and an experienced journalist, to run the FMS Global News service due to his heavy commitments to music and raising research funds through this avenue. Following his sad and sudden death I hope to continue his work as he would have wished.
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1 Response to “Drug Approved. Is Disease Real?”

  1. janetleigh says:

    I think Dr. Clauw ought to hit some of these naysayers in the thumb with a sledge hammer and ask them if it hurt. When they jump up and down screaming, “WHAT *)#%@$ DO YOU MEAN – Did it hurt? – YOU BLOODY FOOL! Of COURSE IT HURTS!”

    To which Dr. Clauw, while stroking his chin, might say something like, “Hmmmm.. I don’t know about that. You SAY it hurts, but I can’t SEE hurt or feel YOUR pain, so for all I know, you’re ACTING like you have pain to irk me. Just to be sure, I’ll have to clobber your thumb once more to see if you react a little more like you’re in REAL pain. Hmmm.”

    Okay, sarcasm aside, let the real doctors who’ve got real experience and real research do the real talking for us fibromites – and not some dimwit who wants his 15 minutes of fame looking stupid.

    I’d be more concerned about what motivates these naysayers in the first place. Could it be that the insurance companies want to keep their profits and need to eliminate certain medical conditions so they don’t have to pay for prescription medication? Insurance companies are already turning down people who have filed claims for damages due to Hurricane Katrina. The insurance companies are desperately looking for an out in having to honor insurance claims by people who have paid their premiums.

    I’d be looking more closely for any nefarious reasons fueling the fibromyalgia deniers. What’s in it for the deniers? Who benefits by denying fibromyalgia even exists?

    Fibromyalgia exists and there’s proof of it. Make the NAYSAYERS prove it doesn’t exist. That’ll keep them busy for a good while..:)

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