02 April 2009

Lab Rat Update

Well, I signed all the consent paperwork yesterday at UCDavis for the CONFIRM study. I'm really excited about the possibilities. The drug being used in this trial is actually a reformulation of a drug that is currently FDA approved for psoriasis treatment... so at least this isn't a completely new study drug with so many unknowns as some of the others currently in trials.

I now begin a 'wash-out' phase - - - which means I'm off all MS meds for the next two months. After that, I'll go in for an official 'screening' visit which will be followed by the baseline appointment. After that, it's one visit a month. Most visits will take less than an hour - and one appointment every three months will take a majority of the day.

There's no monetary compensation for the study - at least not in the form of receiving a check. However - if you look at it in the form of the savings on all the doctor visits (my co-pay is normally $15/each), plus the savings on the MRI's (my co-pay is about $300), plus the savings on the medications (my co-pay is about $100/order), plus the savings from all the various lab-work (my co-pay is 20%)... well let's just say that adds up to a pretty significant compensation package!

Some of my family/friends have raised concerns about the possibility that I'll be assigned the placebo drug. My response to that is if I am assigned to the placebo group, there is no other environment where I'd be better monitored. Monthly exams and lab work and MRIs every 6 months will keep a close eye on any disease progression. So - I'm okay with being a lab rat!