Monday, January 12, 2004
Central Ohio News Journal
Rick Lepley, 49, of Madison Township spent three years giving himself an injection of who knows what as part of a long clinical trial for Multiple Sclerosis patients.
"There were 16 of us in the program and only eight of us were getting a real drug. The other eight were getting a placebo," Lepley said. He didn't find out until February he was giving himself daily morning shots of a drug called copaxone.
"It slows things down and I know I felt better and I'm still walking," Lepley said.
Diagnosed with MS in September 1998, Lepley was taking part in an experiment as a volunteer. He said all the costs were paid for by the MS Foundation and the hospital he reported to was University Hospital in Columbus.
Verne Lange, 75, of Mansfield, who has had MS the past 47 years, said several local people like Lepley have volunteered to take part in these trials.
Tonya Partin of the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society said people living with MS have a chance to participate in various clinical trials offered in this area.
She said the trials are studies to determine if a treatment is safe and effective.
"These studies can offer people with MS an opportunity to actively participate in the effort to end the devastating effects of (this) disease," she said. "But these studies must be conducted carefully to ensure the validity of the results."
There are four clinical trials now seeking participants. They are:
Avonex Combination Study; Cleveland Clinic Foundation; call Vinette Zinkand, R.N., at (216) 444-4817 to enroll.
Avonex Combination Study; Neurological Association in Columbus; call Amy Beebe at (514) 457-4880 to enroll.
Intensive Outpatient Rehabilitation; Mellen Center for MS Treatment, Cleveland Clinic; contact ivancid@ ccf.org for enrollment information.
Gender Difference Study; Cleveland Clinic Foundation; contact faticap@ ccf.org for enrollment information.
Partin said the Northwestern Ohio Chapter can be reached at (800) FIGHT
MS or at its Web site at www.nationalmssociety .org/oho.
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