“I keep wanting this story to end, but it never does”
Those are the words Stephen Fried wrote for his excellent article “Prescription for Disaster” for the Washington Post — in 1994. Yes, that’s right — 1994 — over twenty years ago. For anyone who thinks that the FQ ADR’s are something new, think again. It’s an old, old story, this one, which actually goes back much farther than 1994. But this article highlights how Pharma, FDA, flox victims, the ignorant and dismissive medical profession, even publicity on shows like GMA, Dateline, Donahue, and even Oprah — they were all there — it’s all happened before — way back in 1994. It’s all been completely ignored; and in fact, sales of FQ’s continued to increase and soar exponentially during the past 20 years. I, and who the hell knows how many others just like me, have been “floxed” since then. Had the FDA, Pharma, and the medical profession done their job back then, my life (and many others) might have been spared.
Don’t think Pharma or the FDA is just finding out about these ADR’s now. They’ve known. They’ve known for a very, very, long time. And they’ve done absolutely nothing about it.
So when you hear all the Pharma companies make their same old tired and outright spurious statements over and over again about how “Safety is our greatest concern, and these antibiotics have been prescribed safely for the last 20-30 years without problems“, and the FDA says “We take these safety issues very seriously and are looking into it“, you’ll know what bullshit that is. There is a historical record accumulating, and this article is just one example for you to post in rebuttal. Remember: the internet saves everything now. There will be less and less places for Pharma to hide as time goes on and the number of victims the world over continue to grow.
FQ’s are once again in the news. We can only hope that this time, it will be different.
PRESCRIPTION FOR DISASTER. By Stephen Fried, April 3, 1994. “ . . . Then the folks at “Good Morning America” decided to use the article for a women’s health segment on adverse drug reactions; they had Diane and me on, along with Murray Lumpkin, then director of the division of anti-infectives of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The show generated more calls and letters . . . I keep wanting this story to end, but it never does. Late last year I got a call from a producer of Oprah Winfrey’s show. She wanted to do a program on adverse drug reactions because she had just had one — to Floxin. Diane and I appeared on the program, along with several other people we had met through the original article, and since then I’ve gotten a steady stream of calls. Many of them are from people who had almost the same reaction Diane did, but weren’t as lucky to have doctors who at least recognized a drug reaction and were willing to learn what they didn’t know about how to treat it. I’ve talked to people whose spouses have lost their careers in the aftermath of drug reactions, people whose fathers attempted suicide because of depression that seemed to have been triggered by quinolones.”
Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs Bitter Pills started as a magazine story, inspired by Stephen Fried’s wife’s frightening reaction to an antibiotic. After he won a National Magazine Aware for that article, he expanded his investigation into this book.
I would like to acknowledge and give a big “Thank You” to all the flox victims and advocates who worked so hard to bring this information to light for the public in the past 20-30 years. Rather than think all your efforts were in vain, I believe you planted the seeds, provided a foundation for awareness and advocacy, and an important historical record on this issue for all of us. I hope your efforts will be included in this most recent media wave, with more articles and news clips from these early attempts surfacing, and flox victims (if you’re still alive) and advocates from these earlier attempts continuing to speak up now. Your stories from 20-30 years ago show the blatant disregard of the FDA to protect the public, most notably, those of us who have been floxed and had our lives destroyed since then.
In Memory of Dr. David Flockhart: “On November 26, 2015, the flox community lost Dr. David Flockhart, M.D., Ph.D., a beloved physician and researcher who passed away at his home in Indianapolis, surrounded by his family, after a year-long struggle with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme.” Please follow the link to his obituary to read about this lovely and most remarkable man, and a friend to the flox community.
In Memory of Dr. Jay S. Cohen, MD: “It is with very great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Jay S. Cohen. He was compassionately devoted to his patients and an ardent researcher and author, lately focusing on erythromelalgia and medication side effects. His recent book regarding flouroquinolone side effects is being heralded by the many patients who are suffering with serious, long-term health problems after taking drugs such as Cipro and Levaquin.” Dr. Cohen’s work will continue through the Jay S. Cohen M.D. Foundation, supported by his book sales and donations.