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Doc Refuses to Consider Tysabri to Treat My MS
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How do I find a doctor who will discuss Tysabri with me? I have MS, and my neurologist will not discuss the possibility of prescribing Tysabri. When I try to bring up the subject, the doctor's response is that it is too dangerous and there are many other treatments to try. Three people have died from Tysabri. Give me a break — I have read the articles about Tysabri and think I have the right to make an informed decision, or at least have a part in the decision on whether I should have Tysabri prescribed for me. I am convinced that Tysabri would be beneficial in improving the quality of my life and preventing the worsening of disability. It is my understanding that my doctor has prescribed Tysabri for none of his patients.
I completely agree with you that patients should have the right to make an informed decision and be part of the decision on whether or not to prescribe Tysabri (natalizumab). There are neurologists, however, whose own opinion is that Tysabri carries significant risks, and they are not willing to prescribe it. This is a personal decision based on that doctor’s review of literature and his or her own feelings about Tysabri.
The best way to find a doctor who may be willing to prescribe Tysabri, or at least discuss it with you, would be to call the Biogen Idec help line (1-800-456-2255) and ask which neurologist in your area has prescribed Tysabri. (Biogen Idec is the drug company that makes Tysabri.) As noted, there are physicians who feel that because of the risk of PML they are unwilling to prescribe Tysabri at this time. But again, that is a personal opinion not held by every physician. Most neurologists feel it is appropriate to discuss these issues with the patient and to let the patient make an informed decision based on information provided to them regarding the risks and benefits of Tysabri.
(Three people who had been in clinical trials involving Tysabri developed a rare brain disease called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML. The drug’s manufacturers subsequently recalled Tysabri. After further analysis, the drug was reapproved by the Food and Drug Administration in June 2006 and is now commercially available.
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