February 16, 2012
Take Action! Help save lives!
On Monday, while watching the news, Alex and I learned about a critical shortage of Methotrexate, a type of chemotherapy mainly used to treat ALL (a form of childhood leukemia). It is also used frequently in bone marrow transplant patients, post transplant, to help reduce the risk of a patient's body rejecting the donor cells. Kate received this chemotherapy and Will will require it as well so this shortage really hits home.
The most shocking aspect of this shortage is that pharmaceutical companies are stopping, or drastically cutting, production because methotrexate is no longer a profitable drug to produce. These companies would rather produce higher profit drugs to boost earnings.
I have a finance degree - I understand business models, really I do.
However, I cannot get on board with companies halting production on a drug that SAVES CHILDREN'S LIVES. We aren't talking a cosmetic drug, or an antibiotic that can be easily substituted. We are talking about a drug that is known to cure a specific type of childhood cancer.
I literally get sick to my stomach when I think about this. Not just about whether or not this drug will be available for Will. But sick to my stomach for the parents who go through the hell of receiving a horrendous diagnosis only to find out the medication their child needs isn't profitable enough to be made.
I know what it's like to hear your child has a terminal illness. It is hell. I wouldn't wish those words on my worst enemy. However, I cannot fathom hearing those words coupled with a statement of little hope about getting my hands on the medication needed to cure my baby. Tears fill my eyes when I think about any parent hearing that.
Unless we do something, parents will hear that. And sweet, innocent children will die. They won't get their second chance - all because big pharm is selfish.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is helping us take action. You can follow this link and register to send a letter to your legislators petitioning life saving drug shortages. We need legislation to regulate this. We need the FDA to have control over the production of drugs that are as important as methotrexate.
As parents to two children that have, or will, require this drug to help save their lives, Alex and I are asking each of you to take action and help innocent children.
We, as well as all parents with children requiring this medication, appreciate your support. Please spread the word - link back to this post, forward the LLS link to your friends and family, post on facebook, do anything you can to spread the word.
Let's rally together and give these children a chance at survival.