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Needles & Syringes
Mar 4, 2005

I have been taking Fuzeon for 1 1/2 years. The needles and syringes in the kits are just horrible!! I have spoken to my pharmacy who tells me that most people complain about the needles and syringes included in the kits and that the company has NO PLAN to change them. Why are they not listening to the patients? I am a Registered Nurse. I got a supply of needles and syringes from my place of emplyment to try my own comparative study.......I had almost NO injections site sores when I stopped using those contained in the kit. My pharmacy tells me that my MD can write a prescription for needles and syringes. Why should I pay seperately for them. Is there anything that can be done to encourage the company to listen to the patients??? I am close to stopping this drug due to this problem. Thanks, Adam Barrett

Response from Mr. Kurtyka

Adam,

I have heard many complaints similar to those you voice about the needles/syringes that are provided in the Fuzeon kit. I've asked the same question myself. The answer that I've received several times is that when Fuzeon was approved by the FDA, the entire "kit" was approved including the needle and syringe units. In order to leave these out of the kit or change them to another product, a lengthy FDA process would be involved. Assuming this is true, many Fuzeon users have thus resorted to other measures such as requesting a prescription from their healthcare provider for different injection supplies.

As a nurse, you're aware that there are many other needles and syringes out there. Some are sharper and easier to use then others. I've heard from many patients that they found other needles and syringes that are sharper, easier to inject, etc. Many folks anecdotally report that they have fewer injection site reactions from different brands of needles. It's definitely worth a try with a different product but you are right in that it could be expensive. Is there Ryan White Grant funding available in your area that might be able to pay for alternative injection supplies?

What can you do to change this? I would suggest emailing or mailing a letter to the manufacturer, call the Fuzeon Answer Line and ask them to file a report, talk to your healthcare provider and ask them to report it to Roche/Trimeris as well. When I speak to representatives of the manufacturer I'll also make sure I ditto your concerns.

--dk



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