Well that is it for this round of Question Time this time round. Maybe we will do another one.
We have to thank the panel for being brave enough to put their neck out and a special thanks for Doctor Ruth, Sir Jeremy and Ila for pitching up at short notice.
We also give special thanks to Vasilis Vasilopoulous for having the guts to participate. He did so, not knowing what we were really up or what was in store for him or his answers. We hope he feels that we were civil and gave him fair opportunities to say what he wanted.
Although this was not discussed, I think it was appropriate that we did not question this views at the time, especially as he would not be able to defend them
Question 1. Are citizen petition challenges (to the FDA) by companies in the best interest of MSers? (Q. Posted 23rd Jan 2013). Did you miss it? click here.
VV Response. "There is no way to predict. It depends on the details of each case. It might save them from a potentially dangerous drug, but it might also prohibit access to a cheap drug. In any case, it's rather disturbing to know that MSsers are being used as a weapon in the competition between companies."
Team G reposte. None we are singing from roughly the same hymn sheet. Maybe we need a pharma person on the panel next time.
Question 2.What causes liberation therapy to work for some and not for others (Q.posted 4th December 2012) and should we be researching this in the UK? (Q.posted 23rd Nov. 2012). Did you miss it? Click here.
VV Response. "Reasons for poor or negative outcome: Underdiagnosis (undetected venous malformations), wrong kind of treatment (undersized balloons, insufficient pressure), unhealthy veins, prone to restenosis, rapture or thrombosis (probably related to disease duration)".
Team G reposte. Although I think that VV and Prof G would be having a disagreement about the reality of the condition. Maybe some thought could have been given to the response and placebo effects and neuros verses MSers views on treatments. The value of the trials could have been discussed. Shame about the trollers who curtail and form of sensible discussion on this subject
Question 3.Why bother with drug approvals? Can’t you simply prescribe drugs (Simvastatin) to people with progressive MS (Q.posted 14th December 2012) (once small scale trials suggest an effect?). Did you miss it? Click here.
VV Response. VV Response. "Drugs can be dangerous, and cost money. This question is posed because expensive drugs of limited efficacy and great danger can get approved in absence of any other treatment. There should be a redefinition of safety and efficacy respecting common sense, ie most MSsers should see clear improvement or symptomatic relief from a candidate drug. It is clear that raising the expectations would send most drugs out of the market, but at the same time stir more research. Of course, if a drug has been around for some time, has been proven literally safe and is cheap, it should be prescribed freely without the need of new trials".
Team G reposte. On this latter point I think Sir Jeremy would disagree, who maintains we need to show efficacy. Prof G thinks we need the Big pharma alternative and ensure we have the capacity to licence drugs before doing these studies.
Question 4.When I was diagnosed 10 years ago, stem cells therapies were talked about as offering a potential cure for MS. The hype has died down and I don't see much mention of repair in MS research. Is there much research looking at repair, not just to myelin, but to lost nerves? (Q posted 23rd Nov.2012).
Did you miss it? Click here
Team G reposte. Mouse Doc and VV may have a similar view to the former at the moment and VV has a similar view to prof G on the latter. However, Sir Jeremy thinks we have come a long way without knowing the cause.
Question 5. Is a vitamin D deficit a cause or an effect of MS? (Q posted 4 December 2012). Did you miss it? Click here.
VV Response "The effect of chronic inflammation. The elephant in the room".
Team G reposte. DoctorRuth may have been gagging for a fight
Question 6."Is the use of a low fat diet,meditation and exercise important in improving the prognosis of MS? (Q Posted 4th Dec. 2012).Did you miss it? Click here
VV Response. "Exercise can at times make things worse, meditation might offer some symptomatic relief, low fat diet is the most promising approach".
Team G reposte. There would be a healthy debate here, with abit of agreement, some disagreement and some head scratching hoping for information to answer the question