Rachel "Sparks" Blackman (seattlesparks) wrote,
Rachel "Sparks" Blackman

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[Writing/Politics] Help for Theresa Nielsen Hayden...

Okay, I'm behind on posting this, but... better late than never. Anyone who reads the excellent Making Light weblog (where sf/fantasy writers discuss... well, politics and other things!) is familiar with Patrick and Theresa Nielsen Hayden, two of the editors at Tor Books and the maintainers of Making Light.

Many know that Theresa suffers from narcolepsy, which has been treatable for years by the drug Cylert. However, recently, Ralph Nader and Public Citizen managed to get the drug banned entirely. A brief summary of this can be found on this entry at Making Light; the comments (especially some of those by Jim MacDonald) provide even more information. This affects, in addition, folks with ADHD and Multiple Sclerosis, which were also treated with Cylert. The problem is, there isn't an effective alternate treatment available yet.

Jim MacDonald and others have now put out the call to SFWA members, associates, neo-pros and so on, hoping for a letter writing campaign to reconsider and put the drug back onto the market until there are some effective alternatives. So I'm doing my part and acting on the 'please spread this around.'

(Personal addendum: I really don't like a lot of the stuff Nader gets up to, and this is another example. The recent problems with Cylert merited study and potentially stronger restrictions on it, but yanking it entirely when there are no available effective alternatives is causing more problem for some of those who had been prescribed it than the potential chance of liver damage does! Not so sure I really agree with the folks who feel Public Citizen should be sued for this, but the complete yanking of it when the only alternative doesn't work well for a large percentage of the patients that were treated successfully with Cylert... is unfortunate. Especially the attitude Public Citizen has taken of 'oh, well, the lack of an alternative is not our problem.')
Tags: politics, writing
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