Why isn’t there more Research being done to find a cure for Fibromyalgia?


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Why isn’t there more Research being done to find a cure for Fibromyalgia?

This is an excellent question, which also has many answers, Firstly, there is so much confusion and misunderstanding about Fibromyalgia that many researchers do not know where to begin. Another reason is that Fibromyalgia is not a well known illness among the general public. Ask the average person about Fibromyalgia and they’ll probably either say that they never heard of it, or that it is “that pain disease.” I know this for a fact as I ask this question constantly, not just to the people I meet, but also to many doctors and other health care professionals. One reason for this is that Fibromyalgia is such an isolating illness that many sufferers don’t even speak about it. When they do they are met with blank stares and sometimes even accused of being a malingerer (faking the illness).

Still, another reason for the small amount of research is that research itself is very expensive; costing in the millions and tens of millions. The Government does fund research, but in the times of troubled economics, that research money is drastically reduced. This is the case at the present. Many scientists rely on grants from organizations for their research, but again, with a slow economy, the money is not as plentiful.

Fibromyalgia is not a glamorous illness; the average person cannot see the symptoms as they are so internal. After all, how can you tell if a person is suffering from the “Fibro Fog”? You are more apt to believe that this fibro sufferer is mentally impaired, or perhaps even suffering from dementia. Fibromyalgia pain is a type of pain that cannot be described unless you experience it yourself. (Can a man ever understand how painful childbirth can be?).

Therefore, Fibromyalgia is virtually invisible to the average non fibro patient. Very little visibility means no demand for more research. I’ve heard that anywhere from 2 to 6 percent of the population have Fibromyalgia and I believe this number to be on the low end as so many times, fibro people are not diagnosed properly. You never see walks in the park to find a cure or telethons to raise money for fibro research. For years, women had to scream to get more funding for breast cancer research.

Much of the research money comes from large pharmaceutical companies who do have the resources, scientists and laboratories to do the research, but remember that these companies are also businesses and their goal is to make a profit. There is much more money to be made finding medications to combat high cholesterol or heart disease, than to find a medication for Fibromyalgia. After all, a much larger percentage of the population deals with high cholesterol. I believe that Pfizer must have never in their wildest imagination thought that Lipitor (a cholesterol lowering medication), would become the huge largest selling medication in the history of Pharmacology.

If Fibromyalgia affected a larger percent of the population, you’d see a lot more research being done. If people with fibro opened their mouths more, yelled and made a fuss you’d hear much more about it in the media and the population would be much more familiar with it. Everybody knows and fears colon or pancreatic cancer, but how many people know anything about Fibromyalgia?

One last note, one of the reasons you see so many ads for Lyrica in the media is that Pfizer is about to lose it’s patent on Lipitor which will mean a drop in their income, thus they are pushing their other products in a big way. We’ve all seen the commercials of the woman who is taking Lyrica and appears to be totally fine, normal and living a healthy life. Those of you with Fibromyalgia know that this is just not the case. At best and if you are one of the lucky ones, it lessens the pain a bit, but certainly does not bring yu back to normal health.

Dr. Gene Martin, D.C.

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo Ca. 94402


E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.drgenemartin.com

Skype: dr.gene.martin

3 thoughts on “Why isn’t there more Research being done to find a cure for Fibromyalgia?

  1. We do need more research on all kinds of pain, including fibromyalgia. The dollars spent on this aspect of research should at least be equal the the current DEA war on prescription of drugs that has poisoned the creative thinking about pain as much as it has reduced opioid prescription.

    There are multiple treatments for pain and none of them are a cure all. I agree about the Lyrica ad, since the studies show a 1 or 2 point reduction in pain level for most people. It is interesting that the TV ads do have to have the approval of the FDA! Thus the FDA is allowing misleading information to be broadcast.

    Some day we will understand fibromyalgia and I believe we will find that there are multiple sub-categories of this complex disease.

    • Thank you for your comments, in reality i believe the FDA is pretty useless as they are in the pocket of the huge lobbyists. It is not a coincidence that when an FDA member’s term is up, they take a very high paying job with a large pharmaceutical company. It always comes down to the money.

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