Fibromyalgia? What would Hillary say?

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  • 01/14/2008
Page One story in today's New York Times continues the debate over whether or not fibromyalgia is a "real" disease. After all -- it's just a "women's problem," right?

Why is this on Page One? Surprise! Because one of the storylines is about how evil drug companies (in cahoots with the FDA) are spending money creating and promoting drugs for this faux syndrome.

But there is one paragraph worth sharing. The focus is on why the FDA chose to approve Lyrica (pregabalin) -- with an indication for treating fibromyalgia -- over the objection of some (unnamed) junior reviewers.

“While pregabalin does present a number of concerns related to its potential for toxicity, the overall risk-to-benefit ratio supports the approval of this product,” Dr. Bob Rappaport, the director of the F.D.A. division reviewing the drug, wrote in June 2004.

Risk. Benefit. Fibromyalgia. Millions of women. Millions of dollars. After all, if Pharma can help -- then there must be a hidden agenda. Ergo, pitch it for Page One, baby.

Nonsense. What would Hillary say? Someone should ask her about this during the next debate?

At the end of the day, it's a balanced article and an interesting issue. Alex Berenson does a nice job. But there's nothing new. Isn't there any real news that can be reported on the wood of our nation's newspaper of record?

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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