Study for severe to very severe COPD patients

New Study for People with Severe to Very Severe COPD

This research study is testing whether a new investigational drug that targets eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) could help patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) control symptoms and reduce exacerbations (flare-ups) that lead to hospitalizations. The new investigational drug will be compared to oral and inhaled corticosteroids, the current standard of care for COPD.

More about the study:

  • The study drug (Benralizumab) is administered by Subcutaneous (under the skin) injection (SC).
  • There will be 3794 participants in this trial

If you are interested, please find the full study details and eligibility criteria listed here.

Eligibility Criteria:

Participants must:

  • be between 40 – 85 years old
  • have been diagnosed by a medical professional as having severe to very severe COPD
  • be a current smoker or former smoker

Share Your Story: Ann Lavendar

I was diagnosed with RSD in January of 2002.  Since that time I’ve had more than 40 procedures, ranging from stellate blocks (both through my throat and the more dangerous procedure through my back and around my lungs), RFTC’s (radio frequency thermocoagulation blocks), exploratory surgery resulting in a vein wrap around a trapped nerve which seemed to be the culprit (complication following wrist surgery) and finally three tries at a dorsal column nerve stimulator (two fails and one semi-success).  It spread like wildfire during an especially bad exacerbation of symptoms, from my left hand/wrist, throughout the arm, my right arm,  across parts of my back and side, into my right hip and leg and across parts of my face.  The pain was so terrible that when I did fall asleep, I woke up clawing at my face and arms from …


Medicare #StepTherapy Rules

Step Therapy

Step therapy is a type of prior authorization. With step therapy, in most cases, you must first try certain less expensive drugs that have been proven effective for most people with your condition before you can move up a “step” to a more expensive drug. For instance, your plan may require you to first try a generic prescription drug (if available), then a less expensive brand-name prescription drug on its drug list, before it will cover a similar, more expensive brand-name prescription drug. However, if you’ve already tried the similar, less expensive drugs and they didn’t work, or if your prescriber believes that your medical condition makes it medically necessary for you to be on the more expensive step-therapy prescription drug, he or she can contact your plan to ask for an exception. If your prescriber’s request is


Share Your Story: Stephanie Lynn Christianson; Arachnoiditis

Stephanie LynnOne day in May 2006, out of nowhere I was suddenly overtaken by pain in my knee. I saw the orthopedist, whom at the time was on the fence about proceeding with a surgical intervention. I had the surgery, but the pain never really went away. I left for my freshman year at Vanderbilt University still feeling slightly off. I had been there a month when the pain began to spread gradually to encompass my entire left leg. I was unable to leave my dorm room and climb the stairs and getting food was an absolute challenge. I was 18 years old at that time and terrified.

The third doctor I saw trying to address what was going on finally realized I had Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The only thing I can remember from that day was the effect it had on my mother who fully understood what this could mean for my quality of life. Needless to say, she was devastated. At that point in time, I was an ostrich with my head in the sand. I found it painful at first to even think about what was happening to my leg. My family worked relentlessly and we traveled the United States looking for a proper intervention and treatment for CRPS.
In the meantime, I was in the middle of my undergraduate career. I had to take off whole semesters because at that point I was unable to function enough to really make the most out of a stellar education. There were even times when I would start a semester and have to leave or reduce my course load. I was fortunate enough my University worked with me and my very unique situation. I will always be grateful to them.

Inch-by-inch, we explored every routine surgery procedure related to CRPS, infusion, implanted device, medication therapy, and holistic remedy. It wasn’t until SkyMall, that crazy magazine with the high prices and crazy objects, and a dud of a visit with a holistic specialist in Maryland to find what we were looking for therapeutically. As we took off, my mother found an ad in SkyMall for the Dellon Institute and quite literally ripped the page out of the magazine. After speaking to the surgeons involved in these techniques and interventions, I found the right match with Dr. Sean Wolfort, MD. After a series of nerve trans-locations (where they moved my hyperactive nerves into dense tissue to trick your body), it appeared I was gaining mobility.

College still posed a problem. There were so many doors and inaccessible areas for those with physical handicaps. It took me approximately 5 years into my diagnosis that I really began to advocate for both the pain community as well as those with physical disabilities. I rely on crutches (a single if it’s a good day, a double if it’s not) and found that posed some very significant obstacles if you were going to pursue rigorous studies. I was finally ready to talk about what I go through in living with CRPS at a young age and the journey I have taken. As such, I looked inside my community, which at this time was the entire University. Those without physical handicaps fail to realize the struggle people have obtaining food when they rely on crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and all other mobility aides. With enough tenacity, I was able to implement a program that helped anyone either in an acute or chronic state that needed help getting the basic necessities. Moreover, I participated on a committee aimed solely on making the campus more accessible. Things such as maps clearly indicating where elevators were in buildings or adjusting how doors open to prevent injury to the person.

This ongoing experience has shaped my life and has motivated me more than one can possibly imagine. Prior to my diagnosis, I was determined to pursue a career as an attorney. Following my diagnosis, I have realized the best way to implement change is to roll up your sleeves and get to work. I have grown tremendously and have accepted some days will be more painful than others. I believe in keeping my goals in sight as it provides me with the fortitude to go on and work through it all. Here and now, at age 27, I have been fortunate to work in a laboratory that deals primarily with pain management toxicology and pursue my doctorate in neuroscience. I am sincerely hoping to bring some degree of relief to the CRPS patients of the world.

Thank You! Stephanie Lynn Christianson


Sheila Kim Purcell #ShareYourStory #MS
Sheila Kim Purcell
August 20,1999 was one of the most life altering days of my life. The first was the day I found out, I was going to have a baby. This day was not so joyous as it was the day I found out I had MS. I was a single parent with a daughter in high school, what was I to do, how was I going to tell her?

I had been going to the doctor for months complaining of headaches and numbness in my arms and legs. The doctor kept insisting it was stress, he gave me medication for the headache and told me to rest more. Then came the pain, the best way I can describe it, is it felt like every muscle in my body just ached, almost like having the flu. The doctor again dismissed what I was telling him. When the fatigue sent in, I felt it was time to find a new doctor. I explained all of my symptoms to the new doctor, from the headache, muscle aches, fatigue my inability to concentrate. He ran multiple test and they all came up negative.

He then said he wanted to send me for an MRI and spinal tap, 5 days later he called me and asked if I could come to his office that day. I knew that was not a good sign. He walked in and said the words I will never forget, “Sheila I am sorry to have to tell you this, but you have Multiple Sclerosis”.

I thought my life was over. Over the next several years, I was on multiple medications, in which the side effects were horrible. I almost missed my daughter’s HS graduation due to the pain and fatigue. I cannot do everything I was once able to do by any means as I let MS define me for many years. I have changed my diet, due to balance issue, I have installed grabbed bars in my shower. I try to avoid stress at all cost. I am now a Pain patient Advocate. I tell every person I met with MS you can let MS define you or you can define MS, I chose the latter! As I am writing this I am in a flare, so as you can see MS does not have to control you

Learn more about MS here


Medical Drug Delivery Pump; Tenah’s Story

Hello my name is Tenah. I have a Medical Drug Delivery Pump. My MD and I both agreed that this would be the best way to deliver medication for my pain.

I had been taking Kaden for the pain before my pump. I did not like the way the pain medicine felt. I wanted a way to relieve my pain without the side affects of the pain medicine. With having RSD I knew I was going to have medicine probably the rest of my life. I knew my age and the length of time I would have to be on medication I was worried what the medication would do on my internal organs.

Dr Ajith Nair is my MD he is not just a doctor that come in sees you for a few moments. He also helps you mentally and …


Share Your Story: Amy Branton

I’ve dealt with severe back pain since the birth of my son when I was 24. During childbirth my doctor was inexperienced with high risk patients (obese) and he instructed me to push incorrectly. I herniated 2 discs in my back and a few months later, I started my journey of dealing well and not so well, with a severe back injury.

I gave birth in Sept. of 1994 and began to deal with pain as I was trying to enjoy being a new mother. It was hard but I had a very helpful and understanding family.i had my first LUMBAR back surgery to relieve the herniation in 2001. The surgery went well but I left the hospital with a new pain -sciatica. In 2002 I had a weight loss surgery to try and help myself by dropping pounds to …


Patient Story of Annie Skerchek

We are getting ready to retire to Florida and so I started looking for pain management. I’ve been living with chronic pain for 26 yrs now. I live with Arachnoiditis, arthritis, neuropathy, severe lumbar back pain. stenosis, radiculpathy.
Since having a lumbar laminectomy in 1989 my life has never been the same. And now my spine has been reduced to bone on bone, which is crushing the nerves.

In order for me to have quality of life I need pain medication. For me that means Fentanyl patches, Fentanyl lozenge, Norco, and ativan.

I sent out about ten e-mails to different PM doctors in the Sarasota Florida area. And what happened was I only received two messages back. They both said good luck, that at this time they were full and couldn’t help me. But then I received a phone call …

#ShareYourStory: Mike Karnyski Hi my name is Mike and this is my story.I was injured in an Industrial Accident in 1994 having my right hand crushed by over 1500 pounds of steal.I had 4 operations and 2 amputations all within a year.My first amputation was half of my index finger than a short time later the rest of my finger and a quarter of my hand.I then developed RSD?CRPS in my hand and arm a lot of therapy and meds plus Ganglion Nerve Blocks.Then the RSD?CRPS spread to my shoulders and back more Therapy and Lower Lumbar Injections.Then it spread to both my legs and feet you guessed it more Therapy,Medications had to walk with 2 canes and use a wheelchair to get around plus water therapy.Then PM said we would try a Spinal Cord Stimulator went through the trial and then had the SCS implanted.This really gave me a new lease on life,I do not walk with the canes or use the wheelchair and the best part NO MORE MEDICATIONS.It is 12 years with the SCS. Now I am mentoring individuals that are having a hard time dealing with the pain from RSD/CRPS it is something I enjoy doing.I now take one day at a time and Thank the Lord for every new day. Mike Karnyski

Alzheimer’s clinical trial

There is an Alzheimer’s clinical trial going on right now where the study drug being investigated will help people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The research will test if the study drug improves memory, other mental skills, and overall quality of life in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Here is some basic information:

  1. Participants must be between 66 – 90 years old
  2. Participants must be experiencing moderate to severe memory loss, dementia or Alzheimers disease
  3. This trial is 26 weeks long, requiring 5 visits
  4. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed
  5. If you complete the trial you will receive a variable amount for your time and inconvenience

The full study details and eligibility criteria are listed here.

Please complete the online questionnaire to check if you’re eligible for the trial.

If you’re not familiar with clinical trials, here are some …

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