This is not meant to be critical Harry but knowing your long dislike for Tysabri I should have realized that you would read
Actually, it's not that I don't like Tysabri (after all it's only a man made drug ) ) it's Biogen's entire handling of the drug's introduction that has left me with quite a distaste for the company.
The argument that Avonex has otherwise been involved in PML incidence before is an easy and seemingly valid argument, but it isn't valid as might seem obvious.
I don't disagree with you on that but it was Biogen's own CEO, James Mullen, who made the protective comment about Avonex after Tysabri got pulled.
Before these Tysabri deaths it had been a long standing assumption that PML incidence is owed to oversuppression. Obviously at this time the only way the medical community can think of to handle these immune mediated diseases is to suppress the hell out of the entire immune system in attempts to minimize one faulty aspect.
And that information brings me to one big question....if the Biogen docs were aware of this situation (and you know they had to be) and not much was known about Tysabri's short and certainly not long term safety aspects, why on earth were they performing a trial that involved combining it with Avonex before the monotherapy trial was completed?
Several articles leaned towards marketing purposes for Avonex's benefit only and that's another reason why I am not a fan of Biogen.
Although you must feel that the initial incorrect judgement of cause of death for the crohn's patient was intentional but considering that about any of these immune mediated diseases are treated by suppressing the immune system...the more, the better, I think it's logical that PML deaths aren't nearly as uncommon as assumed and are COMMONLY misdiagnosed.
My concern with the Crohn's patient's death came from the information that was related to me on how Biogen dealt with the family and subsequent release of info surrounding the case. From what I was told, they tried to cover it up as much as possible to deflect any possible negative fallout on Tysabri. If you were to see it from the family's side, you would likely share my concern. They were indeed most upset with Biogen!
Under normal conditions autopsies are rarely every performed and when it's know that someone has stuggled with one of these diseases and immune suppression?? I imagine it's very, very seldom that anyone would question WHY they died.
Unless that person is involved in a clinical trial and something out of the ordinary happens...just as what happened to the Crohn's patient. He went from being relatively healthy to dying within 6 months or so.
I did check the Feb 28, 2008 New England Journal of Medicine and found that you were on the money in regards to the length of time which had passed since the Crohn's/PML patient was on....I think it was Imuran and Remicade.
Like I said, I didn't make up any of the info I have related about the Crohn's patient. It was supplied to me in detail. There is a lot more behind the scenes as well but I really don't think there is any purpose in discussing it in this thread.