Aug 22, 2010

Midrodrine's Discontinuation Described as a "Business Decision"

Although I have never personally taken midrodrine, it is the next medication my EP wanted me to try. Now I don't know if that will even get to happen. I have many friends in the dysautonomia community who swear by this drug. It enables them to perform basic daily functions like sitting up and standing and apparently it has very few side effects. Overall the drug is safe and effective for many POTS patients. I can understand if a drug is pulled from the market due to safety concerns, but the fact that a perfectly safe drug will be denied to thousands of people for no good reason is preposterous.

I called the drug's manufacturer Shire to give them a piece of my mind. As a fairly rational person I understand that the customer service representative I spoke with was not personally responsible for this decision, but nonetheless I was dissatisfied by the way she addressed my complaint. She claimed that my call was the first she had received regarding this decision and admitted that she did not personally know much about this drug. All she knew was that there was nothing wrong with the drug, it was merely a "business decision" on behalf of Shire. I was outraged by the term. She then proceeded to "apologize for the inconvenience." Can you imagine the complete ignorance and audacity of that statement? I had explained to her in fairly simple terms the condition I suffer from, what the drug does, and what will happen to thousands of people if this drug is unavailable to them. And after all that, she considered it a mere "inconvenience," suggesting no other alternatives except to talk with my doctor to see if there is something similar available.

I'm sorry, I try to be patient with incompetent people in customer service positions, I know they are just reading from scripts, but don't they owe the customer a little more compassion? To at least pretend to care? Rather than reducing something serious and life-altering to a mere inconvenience? I urge all of you to flood the manufacturer with phone calls, contact your state senators, Erin Brockovich, and whoever else you can think of that may have enough influence to help override this callous "business decision."

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