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Austin Doctor Urges FDA to Approve MS Drug

Updated: Tuesday, June 3 2014, 03:11 PM CDT
Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord, and the grim reality is there is no cure.
There are about 10 treatment options for M.S. on the market currently, but most all require several shots a week or even each day.

Doctor David Goldblatt has spent nearly three decades working as a Neuro- radiologist in Austin. He has helped diagnose multiple cases of multiple sclerosis, but, 14 years ago the tables turned.

"I woke up one morning, and I was completely without a sense of touch from my waist down," Goldblatt said. "I couldn't feel anything."

A few days later Goldblatt received the diagnosis that he had M.S.

"It's a crushing thing for someone who's been otherwise healthy, and suddenly they have this looming diagnosis," Goldblatt said.

The doctor turned patient was now battling debilitating symptoms. He signed-up for the Lemtrada study, and he was one of the first trial patients in North America. After only a few treatments he claims it changed his life.

"That's the last time I took any medicine for M.S., and that's the last time I've had any new symptoms," Goldblatt said.

Lemtrada has been approved world-wide, but not in the United States. The FDA denied it late last year due to disagreements over the way trials were conducted.

Goldblatt said the decision was a mistake.

"I testified in front of the panel in Washington, and I urged them to approve it," Goldblatt said. "Amidst the other therapies available for M.S. it is a scalpel in the presence of sledge hammers. It is the best drug that's ever been developed for M.S. to my knowledge, to date."

The M.S. community agrees, and so much so, that thousands signed a petition begging regulators to change their minds and approve the drug.

Last Friday the FDA agreed to give it a second look, in the meantime patients are sitting on pins and needles. 

"It needs to happen," Goldblatt said. "We need to have the capabilities to get a hold of this drug."Austin Doctor Urges FDA to Approve MS Drug

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