Jack Thomas Blog entry #6

Drugs for the dying

Sandy Barker, mother of Christian Barker was attending the Food and Drug’s experimental drug program presentation. During the presentation she raised her hand and told the story of how her 13 year old son had Leukemia and she told the audience the life story of her son. Christian’s life was on the line after a bone marrow transfusion had gone bad and the cells were now attacking his body. Both Christian and his family were desperately in favor for trying an experimental drug. The only problem with this was that the FDA had to approve of this first. By the time permission had been granted it had been three weeks and Christians’ illness had entered stage four. Christian Barker died two months later.

During the panel discussion the FDA said that it would be helpful to lobby ones congressman to get access to experimental compassionate drugs. Sandy made the argument that with her son bleeding 4 liters of blood a day there was no time to call the congressmen and she never should have needed to in the first place. Richard Klien, the director of the FDA patient program said that , “there is clearly a need for some sort of improved process.” The reason I picked this story to write about was because it dealt with congressmen. State’s congressmen need to have more of an interference and voice in the FDA when it comes to the use and need for compassionate drugs. If it were like this obviously there would not have been as sad a story as this.




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