A Voice for Fibromyalgia?

Leah Tyler

This has been re-blogged from Leah Tyler at the Chronicles of Fibromyalgia:

Dear Pfizer,

Last night one of your commercials for Lyrica came on TV. In this ad a woman claimed her overactive nerves, caused by Fibromyalgia, gave her pain and kept her from doing the things she wanted to do in life. Obviously she went on to tout the praises of your drug, but I wasn’t listening. Instead, I was hung-up, obsessing, and ranting and raving over the use of one word, wanted. Fibromyalgia kept her from doing the things she wanted to do in life? Like rock climbing or going to an Eminem concert? Because this Fibromyalgia patient over here experienced a completely different reality. Not only did Fibromyalgia keep me from doing the things Iwanted to do, it also kept me from doing the things I had to do, like washing my hair and going to work. And I know a hell of a lot more patients sing my song than Miss Wanted To Do’s.

I have added this video as we don’t have ads for prescription drugs on TV (and I’m not sure about all other countries):

Needless to say, as a nine year veteran of Fibromyalgia, I found this phrasing offensive. In short, here’s my beef; You’re $opping up the dough off a disease that isn’t technically a disease, because nobody knows what causes it. So it wouldn’t hurt too much to throw us patients a bone, would it? Because we’re in a pickle and sure could use your help. Not only is Fibromyalgia the leading pain condition diagnosed in the USA, patient symptoms run the gamut, with a range of fluctuating severity. It affects everyone differently, and to make it even more convoluted, the treatments do, too. Please understand I am an educated consumer. In no way am I holding any pharmaceutical company responsible for sourcing the cause and cure of this mysterious ailment. And I’m well aware of how expensive the process of developing a drug, testing it, and bring it to market actually is. I’m even hip to the efforts your company invests in regarding Fibromyalgia awareness and cause advancement. But maybe it’s because of these reasons I’m actually pissed at you.

I know you pay a pretty premium for the advertising, but as of right now, Pfizer, you are the voice of our illness. Countless patients have lost their ability to function from Fibromyalgia, along with their jobs, families, friends and homes. Fibromyalgia is a devastating reality hotly debated in the crossroads of modern and psychiatric medicine, yet nobody can deny the number of patients is only growing larger. As the only other source of the word “Fibromyalgia” to many people in our society, other than ‘strange Aunt Sally who doesn’t like to leave her house’, you would do the aforementioned injustice a world of good if the chick on the Lyrica commercial said had. ‘Fibromyalgia kept me from doing the things I had to do in life.’ It would give millions of people some much-needed validation.

Thank you for your consideration,

Leah Tyler

I’m probably looking at this from a different point of view than most: I have been trying to encourage all of us, via this site, Facebook and Twitter, to become a voice for Fibromyalgia by sending emails, sharing posts or tweeting; and, then, on May 12th, lighting up their home with purple bulbs (this part is the only bit that may require some physical exertion). (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check this out.) However, due to the very nature of our condition, it is so difficult to get many of us to actually do any of this…so, yes, it is sad that, despite how hard some of us try, Lyrica ads are the only voice for us!


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  1. Everytime I see that commercial I get a bit jealous. The woman is out and about, walking in a playground (noise, commotion), and appears to have quite a bit of “freedom.” I’m happy to make it to the grocery store and back. Doesn’t discuss the extremes of the disease and if Lyrica has helped a home-bound person regain his/her freedom.

  2. In response to Leah Tyler’s post on Lyrica………

    This is one of several medications I have tried. When they first started out showing Lyrica commercials, they would advertise it with skinny women. I have noticed they have began using heavier women. Maybe that is because this medication packs the pounds on, raises your cholesterol and triglycerides sky high within a week of taking it!!

    Please take time to read this and especially the Fibromodem.com website comment at the bottom. If you have fibro, like me, you’ll catch the funny! Fibromyalgia has an Awareness Day and color – PURPLE. But as she writes, “However, due to the very nature of our condition, it is so difficult to get many of us to actually do any of this.. ” Yes, I totally caught your fibro humor in there, Purple Law Lady!

    • I didn’t know this about Lyrica, that was the first treatment I had for the pain, I thought it was good but expensive, I changed my meds to Gabapentin 300mg, I also take a high dose of calcium and magnesium twice a day and have found that it helps me a great deal, I’m having bad issues right now with fatigue, I’m a truck driver which makes a bit worse as I’m driving a lot.

  3. I am also one of the countless many who suffers in silence on a daily basis. Fibromyalgia has totally “killed my vibe” for the past 6 years….and counting. Everyday that God breathes life into me I look forward to the challenges of how to get things done in the least pain-less manner. Some days I have to over-medicate and pretty much just sleep the day away. God Bless us all and my prayer is that a cure be found. I also pray that we all can stay strong enough to stand strong and be the voice heard around the world that people who suffer from fibromyalgia need support, funding and research as well to help conquer this dreaded affliction. Gentle hugs to you all!!!!

  4. I think the FM community provide the only sane & rational voices on this issue. No wonder it’s seen as a psych prob in this mad, mad world. 3 weeks ago I wrote Sophie Scott of ABC’s Health Quarter to ask for a May 12th affirmation. And giving her a story ….. Pfizer sponsors and pays consultancy fees to researchers also having rheumy practices. Whose patients have complained that Lyrica was pushed, against their wishes. The institution’s Ethics Director Prof Komesaroff, and Fiona Nash the Minister for Health were both in total accord with her response – sweet FA.

  5. I was very interested on the subject about Lyrica, I have also seen this commercial like all other commercials about medication I refuse to take unless prescribed by a Dr. I am one of those people who has a very high pain intolerance so when I do get a flare up of Fibromyalgia I know it is real bad. I find Aleve helps especially at night time. Although the Dr’s are now noticing that we have Fibromyalgia I’m sure it has been around a lot longer than people realize. I just wanted to say don’t believe everything you see on TV ask your Dr first then check up on the medication you are prescribed, sometimes we just have to suffer I know it is hard & yes I have days where I would love to stay in bed but \i will not let this disability rule my life or let me miss out on my Grandchildren.

  6. I totally agree with Leah!

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