About Freedom of Access to Medicines (FAMEDS)
FAMEDS is an urgent project of the Abigail Alliance (abigail-alliance.org)
Imagine that you or a loved one are afflicted with an awful disease, are critically ill and maybe even terminal. Imagine further that there is medication that might cure that disease, lessen its effects or prevent it from worsening. Finally, try to imagine what it would be like if despite its existence, you or a loved one could not gain access to that medication. That is the stark reality for tens of thousands of Americans.
While you may be blessed from such a tragic existence today, we are all just a very short, quick disaster away from such a scenario. In a compassionate and wealthy society like the United States, it is deplorable that our own government and its agencies have created the majority of situations where access is denied to critically needed life-saving medications.
While the tragedy of access to critical medical needs extends to various medications and medical devices, FAMEDS has dedicated its initial efforts to fighting for women with metastatic breast cancer to keep their access to the drug Avastin. It has chosen to concentrate on Avastin because 40,000 women per year die of metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
Critical to the Avastin situation is that an estimated 17,500 women with MBC are about to lose their access to Avastin due to what FAMEDS believes is an incorrect and unscientific decision by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Unless this decision is reversed, or somehow these women can continue receiving their Avastin and not have their private medical insurance and Medicare coverage removed, many innocent women will die needlessly and prematurely.
The Avastin situation is an extremely unusual one and FAMEDS urgently needs your support to save these Avastin patients.
About the Founder of FAMEDS
FAMEDS was founded by Terrence Kalley in order to fight for the right of all women to have access to the drug Avastin in their fight with the incurable disease, metastatic breast cancer. Mr. Kalley's wife, Arlene has been an Avastin patient for more than two years and her medical team ascribes her longevity and quality of life to Avastin. When the FDA announced that it was withdrawing approval for Avastin after granting it previously on an accelerated basis, he was outraged. "Denying Avastin to these woman is akin to denying someone food and water. It is inhumane and uncivilized. It's completely un-American. A woman's right to choose with her physician the best medical options for her went out the window. The most fundamental of rights, the right to one's own life, was dismissed with contempt by the FDA. What happened to inalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? "
His outrage only grew when the FDA announced a hearing for Avastin on June 28th and 29th, 2011 where Avastin's manufacturer, Genentech, will challenge the FDA in what is essentially the Avastin women's last chance before their death sentence. Amazingly, the FDA appointed the same panel to hear the appeal that had ruled against Avastin originally.
When he heard this, he knew that he had to act. Although others had been active in various arenas, he could not find any organization or website focused on helping the Avastin woman. So he established FAMEDS to fill this void.
He has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the company he worked at for 19 years, and co-founded, to run FAMEDS. He also Chairs a nonprofit organization that promotes U.S. exports.