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Dropped Out of Avandia Trial
from Christy D.

Hi Ed, I wrote to you ages ago — I was the grad student at Harvard working on telescope design. I graduated this spring with my masters and am moving on in September to start a PhD at the University of London, working on the Euro50 telescope project.

I've been in the clinical trial for Avandia since May, and am actually going to drop out. I've seen no results, though I may be on placebo. The trial manager told me only one person had seen any good results. They switch you between placebo and the real thing at 6 months, but I just can't sit around waiting to try a drug that might not work.

According to the study Dr., my psoriasis has now passed the 90% coverage mark. My nails are hideous and I can barely move through the pain. I was thinking of giving up my PhD spot, since I'm not sure I can manage. However, I have new health insurance that has a 6 month pre-existing condition waiting period. As soon as that 6 months is up, I'm going to try Amevive!

Hope you are doing well — thanks for your website! -Christy 


Ed’s Response:  Of course I remember you, Christy.  At the moment we have only one Chair for astrophysics at FlakeHQ and you are the incumbent.  Doesn’t matter where you go for the doctorate, you occupy that chair, here.  (Rumor’s afoot the chair will also be named after its first occupant.)

Sorry to hear the Avandia trial didn’t work out for you.  You are my living witness to the potential cost of participating in trials.  I know they’re necessary and if we didn’t have people volunteer for them we’d never get anywhere with new drugs.  But when P is severe, as in your case, the conditions of participating in a trial can be very costly. 

Surely those who manage trials understand that if the subject becomes debilitated — either because the trial drug doesn’t work or s/he’s receiving the placebo — it cannot go on.  If they take this into consideration and account for some percentage of drop-outs perhaps they can preserve the integrity of their data.

Sounds like you and I will be trying Amevive at about the same time.  I’ll wish you well if you’ll wish me well!  And I hope you don’t have to give up the PhD spot.  You must fine some sun in London!  -Ed

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