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RRP ISA Survey Results


    1

    Artemisinin/Gardasil Ethical Issues

    May 31, 2011 (rewritten)

    Will ART work on the many as it has worked on the few? We don't know. That was one of the reasons why RRP ISA called for a study (see 2007 RRP Focus Session).

    RRP ISA has decided not to wait any longer for physicians to step forward to do research. We will be once again telling patients where they may get artemisinin and how much might be needed, based on RRP ISA's director's own experience and that of about twenty other patients.

    We will no longer call these the "artemisinin guidelines," by that name. In the interest of aschieving even greater clarity--not to mention the pun-value--we will now call these guidelines the "What-Michael-Did (WMD) guidelines."

    Note that in the USA, the FDA doesn't approve or withold its approval because it is not considered a drug, which greatly extends RRP ISA's latitude in referring to it (still, see disclaimer on website). It is considered  a drug by RRP ISA and in many other countries, however.

    Unfortunately, the fallout from our decision will be that patents may be more difficult to "recruit" for controlled research. We tell patients emphatically, however, that they should consult with their otolaryngologists for as long as they use artemisinin and its analogues. And of course, Gardasil can't be administered without a prescription.

    Still, many patients may begin taking artemisinin on their own, thus marginalizing the otolaryngologist's role in collecting publishable data. This is unfortunate, but it is a result we are willing to live with, given the lag we have seen within the otolaryngological community in implementing certain research projects that we believe might be very promising.

    Is the greater good served by directly helping patients such as we are doing here, or by withholding that help while we wait for large institutions to obtain IRBs and publish their papers?

    In the absence of definitive initiative on the part of the medical establishment, we have no choice but to weigh in on the side of the patient. . . .