A Fibromyalgia Public Service Announcement

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • I'm so excited! This morning I was watching a program about Alaska (one of my favorite places on earth) and suddenly I was seeing a public service announcement about fibromyalgia. It was sponsored by the National Fibromyalgia Association and Pfizer, who have partnered on an educational campaign to raise awareness about fibromyalgia. The TV spot is well done and refers you to the Web site, www.fibrohope.org.

    It's been less than three weeks since the FDA approved Lyrica as the first drug to treat fibromyalgia and already the media campaign has begun. I am pleased that Pfizer chose to begin not with ads for Lyrica, but with an educational campaign run by a nonprofit FM organization. The only way you could even tell that Pfizer was involved was a small logo placed at the very end where the Web site information was given.

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    I daresay it won't be long, though, until we're seeing Lyrica advertisements both on television and in the print media. While I'm not particularly a big fan of drug ads, these will serve a purpose far beyond making more money for a large pharmaceutical company. They will help give fibromyalgia the widespread legitimacy we have worked toward for so many years.

    It's interesting (and a little sad) that--even though fibromyalgia has been recognized for several years by the American Medical Association, the American College of Rheumatologists, the Social Security Administration, and the Veterans Administration--it's probably going to be a profit potential for the pharmaceutical industry that really puts it on the medical map. I can only hope this new media exposure will finally bring still-skeptical medical professionals around.

    I do agree with our medical expert Dr. Borigini, who noted in his recent SharePost that Lyrica is not right for every fibromyalgia patient. Although I'm happy about any treatment that helps even a few people live with less pain, my excitement about Lyrica's approval exists on a whole different level. In addition to giving long-deserved attention to fibromyalgia, it will open the door to the approval of even more treatment options. There are currently at least two additional fibromyalgia drugs waiting in the wings for FDA approval. And as other pharmaceutical companies see that treating fibromyalgia can be profitable for them, hopefully they will increase their FM research budgets.


Published On: July 10, 2007