A new MS drug was approved yesterday. Biogen (makers of Avonex, Tysabri, and Tecfidera) have introduced Plegridy to the market. (Who comes up with these names? Babbling infants or random letter generators?) Of course media coverage concentrated more on the drug’s effect on Biogen’s bottom line more than its effect on people with MS.
Isn’t that great news? Well, yes and no.
It’s always nice to have more weapons in the arsenal in the war against MS. For those who have trouble making decisions, that advantage quickly loses its appeal. (Or, as is more commonly written on the Internet, “looses it’s appeal.”)
I’m one of those people. (“Hi, I’m Rick, and I’m a decidophobic.”) I come close to having a nervous breakdown simply looking at the potato chip choices at the grocery store. (That is, when I had a grocery store to go to.) Which restaurant to choose? What movie to watch? Which t-shirt to wear today. It’s a wonder I ever make it out of bed.
I’m not the only one, as is evident in this article from The New Yorker. Here’s a quote:
…the overabundance of attractive alternatives… leads to conflict, frustration, unrelieved appetitive tension, more approach tendencies and more conflict—a veritable vicious cycle.
That’s right, having too many choices can be bad for you. It can lead to stress which is a trigger for MS exacerbations for many, including me. Since many of these drugs only marginally (or don’t at all) limit the possibility of further attacks, it could be the case that each new drug increases the chances of an attack!
I have no scientific evidence to back up this admittedly outrageous claim, but I’m sure I could find some fly-by-night foundation to back it up if there was enough money to be made off it. Science is for sale at the right price. There’s a “Tobacco Institute”, after all.