3M was the first of those I contacted. I naturally thought that since I was injured by their drug and in such poor medical condition because of it that 3M would be the first to call in search of help. When I called, I spoke to a person that told me she was in Atlanta, Georgia where all reports of Aldara injuries by phone are handled in the U. S. . She took down a thorough statement describing my problems and said someone would be calling me back soon.
Sure enough, this same lady, Vineta Polyne, a pharmacist with 3M, called back to further discuss what was known at that point. Polyne began telling me that from what I had described to them sounded like it was not connected in any way to my use of Aldara. (a standard boiler plate response they are told to use in every reported case of injury.) I argued the few points I knew about Aldara at the time but I was unable to shake her from the "it's not the Aldara" mindset.
Finally, I had enough and simply said to her, "Vineta, let's cut the bull shit and get right to the point of my problems." She surprised me by saying OK!, OK! here is what we think has happened to you. Finally, maybe someone is about to tell me what is wrong with me.
Vineta made the following remarks about my injuries:
Richard, we just got out of a called meeting just before I called you back and here is what three of our top scientist who actually worked on Aldara, from the beginning, thinks happened to you. Once the area of application opened up into an open type wound, you were instructed by your doctor to keep on applying it into the wound. By doing this, you very simply put, injected yourself with the ingredients of Aldara which then went systemic and traveled all over your body. Think of it as if it were being delivered into your body by means of an I.V. . They think that it has altered your immune system and you are now seeing and feeling the effects of that.
I said: Ok, thanks for leveling with me. Now, when can we expect this to all return to normal?
Polyne: Well, they think you will not return to what you had , rather, what you now see and feel is what you will have from now on. This is the new you !
I said: You have got to be kidding me. You mean my immune system has been completely reprogrammed to what I have now and will never be any different?
Polyne: Yes, that is what they think, Richard.
I said: You can't just tell me something this life changing and then hang up on me never to call again. I need help and I mean right now.
Polyne: I know how you must feel and I can assure you I will be here for you as long as it takes for you to become as comfortable with your situation as you need. I will not abandon you, believe me.
I said: Ok, but what am I going to do? Will 3M help me in any way to keep this problem as contained as possible so I don't further digress into a state of even worse health ?
Polyne: They said there wasn't much anyone could do for you at this point but I will check and get back to you in just a bit. I will see if I can get some assistance for you as you go through this initial period.
End of call......
Polyne was never heard from again ............
I later learned that shortly after our last phone call she left 3M ( I bet that's right ) and had moved on to operating a pharmacy somewhere in Georgia.
In about an hour, a man called back from 3M saying he was Dr. James (Jim) Lee with 3M.
Lee: What can we do for you?
I said: Well you can start by offering me some type of assistance for your Aldara screwing up my immune system leaving me almost dead.
Lee: We don't think that is the case, Richard, what we think is that you have some other underlining medical conditions that are your real problems and you just happened to have been using Aldara when these other conditions all surfaced with you.
I said: Do you really expect me to believe that stupid explanation of yours when I just got of the phone with Vineta Polyne down in Atlanta telling me you all met and decided my immune system had been permanently altered?
Lee: We don't have a Vineta Polyne working here at 3M. You must have misunderstood the lady that you were talking with.
I said: Oh, I see what your game is now, Jim.
Lee: Look, give me your fax number and I will send you what we think about your situation in about an hour.
End of call.....
I am including another link to a document you may find interesting as well. It is another man having severe side effects while using Aldara to treat his genital warts. I have redacted his name and information but you will see the lengthy exchange of e-mail messages between Mr. Rand and Dr. Jim Lee of 3M.