Memoir

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By Mike Marquesee

Author and political activist Mike Marqusee used to be clinically determined with a number of myeloma, a kind of blood melanoma, in the summertime of 2007. before everything, disinclined to percentage his distress with others, he was once reluctant to write down approximately his disorder. yet he then got here to achieve that doing so supplied a necessary continuity along with his existence as a author prior to contracting the disorder, and a manner of attaining out to a much broader international that the disease made bodily much less available. Writing allowed him to handle what he observed as numerous insidious platitudes that encompass melanoma, frequently hooked up to the individualistic concept that the patient has to be courageous in scuffling with the illness, with the inevitable corollary that those that succumb have, in a few degree, introduced it on themselves.

And so Marqusee starts to jot down approximately his disorder. not only his personal signs and emotions, however the responses of acquaintances to the inside track that he's ailing and how those mirror broader social attitudes in the direction of the unwell. He describes the political struggles happening in St Bartholomew’s, the London sanatorium that cares for him, and the situation in Britain’s nationwide well-being carrier (NHS) extra ordinarily, at a time of harrowing cutbacks. gigantic Pharma, whose medications retain Marqusee alive yet are bought to the NHS at costs reflecting the facility and greed of a ruthless extortionist, is the topic for fairly astringent scrutiny.
The observations approximately melanoma in those pages are by no means trite or sentimental. they're acute, relocating, impassioned and political. they usually express vital, shared truths, either own and social, approximately an affliction that would impact one in 3 humans during their lives.

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Yet to be sincere what’s most vital to me approximately this unforeseen adventure of survival is that I nonetheless consider i've got many stuff to do during this existence: humans to like, reasons to struggle, books and articles to write down, perhaps even locations to go to. something I realized from this entire ordeal isn't to take that carrying on with engagement with lifestyles, with all its unanswered questions, for ninety four MIK E M A RQUSEE granted. there have been definitely occasions within the final six years whilst I felt being alive now not provided that; it used to be survival and not anything yet. i do know it’s tough to visualize in case you haven’t been during this place, yet there are occasions and situations whilst mere survival loses all charm. after all I’m thankful past phrases to the numerous those that acquired me so far. The medical professionals, nurses, technicians, receptionists, cleaners, and porters who’ve cared for me at Barts and the Royal London. All these earlier and current who equipped and sustained the NHS. My companion in disorder and health and wellbeing, Liz, who’s observed me via each part of this labyrinthine trip (and made definite i used to be taking the appropriate capsules at the correct days, no longer a simple task). My sister Susan, who donated the stem cells for my transplant. the entire scientists— going again generations—whose study contributed to the myriad remedies I’ve benefited from. yet to not Celgene, the U. S. -based company that owns the license on Revlimid, and makes use of its monopoly to cost the NHS extortionate charges for its product. the price of truly generating the drug is subsequent to not anything, yet this 12 months my Revlimid therapy on my own will expense the NHS greater than £40,000. Like different drug businesses, the cost of adventure ninety five Celgene claims its excessive costs are essential to pay for examine and improvement, yet frankly that’s crap. It spends extra on advertising and marketing and lobbying than on R&D. Plus it boasts a unprecedented 26% revenue margin, manner above the already-exorbitant pharma-industry standard of 17%. Who knew a number of myeloma might be this sort of money-spinner? one of many purposes I’m pleased to be alive is that i will be able to have a cross at those bastards. In harmony, Mike ninety six MIK E M A RQUSEE HEL D HO S TAGE via large PHARMA NOV E M BE R 2 013 In contemporary months, I’ve been taking a drugs known as Revlimid, given as a “late remedy” for a number of myeloma. because it seems like i'll be Revlimid-dependent for your time, i made a decision to coach myself concerning the drug. because the chemistry is past me, I targeted my recognition in other places. the very first thing i found was once that Revlimid is outstandingly pricey. A unmarried twenty-one-day cycle of therapy on the lowest dose of five mg day-by-day charges the NHS £3,570. because the dose rises, so does the fee: for a unmarried twentyone-day cycle on the excessive dose of 25 mg, it’s £4,318. The increment is small as the expenditures of really production the drug are minimum. yet no matter what it truly is that the cost of adventure ninety seven we’re deciding to buy, we’re purchasing it throughout the nostril: among £42,000 and £51,000 consistent with sufferer for a year’s therapy. it is a therapy we want, and to which now we have a correct.

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