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News2007June › Fibromyalgia: It becomes a 'real' disease when there's a drug to sell › June 2007

Fibromyalgia: It becomes a 'real' disease when there's a drug to sell

Fibromyalgia has always been one of those Cinderella diseases

Fibromyalgia has always been one of those Cinderella diseases. Its symptoms seem real enough to the sufferer, who complains of chronic and widespread pains in the muscles, and fatigue.

Doctors - and the medical establishment in general - have taken a less than sympathetic view, and have treated the fibromyalgia sufferer in the same disdainful way they have 'treated' the ME patient.

In short, the patient is a nervous worrier, and whatever is wrong with him or her is located almost entirely in the mind.
The experience is distressing and frustrating for the patient who knows full well that he or she is suffering from a genuine problem. But how to change the entrenched views of the medical establishment?

Step forward one resourceful drug company, part of an industry that has never knowingly passed up on a marketing opportunity.

The American drug watchdog, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has just approved the very first drug to treat fibromyalgia. Pfizer's Lyrica (pregabalin), which was originally licensed to treat neuropathy and neuralgia, also "reduces pain and improves daily functions for some patients" who suffer from fibromyalgia, says the agency.

And, hey presto, a condition that's "all in the mind" suddenly becomes a recognized, and treatable, condition.
Thank you, Pfizer.

(Source: The FDA website).

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