Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My doctor did rounds this morning, and everything looked good. He asked if I wanted to be part of a new drug trial for a new form of epogen, the hormone replacement for dialysis patients ( and other persons) who suffer from anemia and low red blood cell production. As I have addressed in earlier entries, epo could very well be one of the more important drug advances in the past twenty-five years. Before the synthesis of this hormone produced naturally through the healthy actions of the kidneys, persons who suffered from anemia were bound to remaining very ill. Not having regular red blood cell production makes a person unable to have a normal energy and exertion level. Gasping for normal breathe, bruising easily, and overall exhaustion; this was your day to day experiences as a dialysis patient prior to the epo regimen. This was my experiences 30 years ago when I was on dialysis in parts of 1983 between transplants. The downside, especially in today's climate is that epo, the form approved and utilized in the United States, is extremely expensive ( one of the most expensive drugs sold) , and can ( at least in the billings I have seen) take up to a third of the overall cost of the dialysis process.

Anyways, this new form of epo, that I have agreed to try out, holds a three fold advantage, according to my doctor, it absorbs better into the system, will not have the side effect of raising long term blood pressure, and it is in an oral form ( no more needles). Finally, and this is speculative, but possible, a cheaper alternative to the current regimen, which can only please the ones paying the dialysis bills, Medicare.

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