Well, I reached that point shortly after going off Aldara back in 2000 when I was hurting so bad and my memory and mind was so foggy and I actually had thoughts that I might not survive the whole ordeal. I finally turned to outside sources to try and get some resolution to what was wrong with me and what if anything could be done to correct the damage done to my body.
The first place I turned was Mayo Clinic. When I contacted them, I had to explain in detail what had happened and what I felt had caused my special set of problems. After taking down comprehensive details of my case, the interviewer said she would get back to me soon with an answer on whether or not I could be accepted into Mayo as a patient, given the special circumstances of my case.
She called back in about 4 hours telling me I had been accepted and that everything was being set up for my admission into the system. She sent me an over-night package containing all the necessary documents to fill out and sign, they had set up the physician that would be assigned to my case, a special room was being prepared for my stay, and she expressed happiness that I had chosen Mayo and thought they had all the matching resources to help me with my recovery.
She was excited, I was excited, everyone was excited that I would be going to Mayo for help.
I quickly had some local friends set up private air travel for me and everything was set to begin the following day. Then my world came crashing down around me.
Late in the day, another lady called from Mayo telling me the most unbelievable story. She said, "Mr. Beasley, I am very sorry to notify you that Mayo has decided not to take you as a patient and that we certainly hope you find the necessary medical help and attention you are seeking but Mayo will not be able to help you." I went ballistic ! I ask why and for what reason Mayo would not see me after all the hard work everyone concerned had contributed and her reply was more than astonishing. She said in no uncertain terms, "Well, Aldara happens to be a drug manufactured by 3M Pharmaceuticals here in St. Paul and 3M funds a lot of our research projects and we work very closely with each other so 3M did not think it would be wise for us to accept a patient who's primary purpose for admission would be to investigate potential injuries relating to one of their drugs. So, this conflict of interest is such that we just simply can't see you and I am sorry." I told her that I was sorry also, but not for me. I was sorry that the medical community and Big Pharma had become so inter-twinned that their relationship and bond between one another has grown stronger than the relationships they should have with patients who might be dying and in need of their services. She said, "there is nothing further I can do for you and we just sincerely hope you receive the help you need !"
With 3M literally blocking me from having access to Mayo Clinic was devastating to say the least. My local physicians were absolutely beyond words, speechless. My oncologist said that this was one of those moments in her career when she was truly sorry to be a part of today's medical profession. We were all set back to square one and no where to go.
My oncologist decided to personally contact the next facility which was the Jewish Hospital in Denver. I received a call from my doctor the next morning telling me to pack my bags, I had been accepted by the Jewish Hospital and that all the documentation had been taken care of for me. We were all back on a high thinking this is for real this time. Then the phone rings in an hour or so and it is my doctor. I could tell she was not happy. She said, "Richard, they have decided not to take you either. But, we will continue looking and we will find someone somewhere even if it is out of the damn country." I said, "do I need to ask you why they wouldn't take me or am I to presume it was 3M once again working their magic?" She said, " oh, it was 3M again alright throwing their weight around." So, I was again denied services and more critical time had passed without any assistance.
I decided to contact the Dallas branch of the University of Texas Southwestern Research Center where many of these special types of cases turn for answers and medical assistance when other entities, for what ever the reason, fail to reach the required solutions to medical problems. I spoke to a lady in admissions who then turned me over to a doctor so we could discuss my situation in detail. After hearing my story, he said, " we are the perfect match for you. We have all the latest equipment and the brightest team of research personnel in the industry right here at Southwestern. I can't wait to meet you and get started on getting you some relief. I will call you back with some numbers and information in just a bit."
Well, he didn't call back but one of his office aides did. She said, "Mr. Beasley we checked around and since you received your alleged injuries at a hospital facility in the U. T. Healthcare system and the drug you are alleging injured you is manufactured by 3M Pharmaceuticals, we have decided it would be best for you to seek the help you need somewhere else." I hung the phone up on her !
As you will later find, Dr. Steven Tyring of the University of Texas Microbiology and Research facility located in Galveston, Texas, was chosen by 3M to perform most of the research and all of the clinical trials on Aldara prior to FDA approval, February, 1997. So, naturally that turned out to be a dead end for me.
All of these rejections discussed here. were made prior to my having any thoughts whatsoever about taking legal action and had I remotely received any kind of assistance, from any of these entities, I doubt I would have every taken the legal action I finally did. But, I was so mad, so defeated, and so sick that I felt I had no other option but to try and force 3M and U. T. Health Center to help me. It took over a year and a half, in the making, but finally 2-weeks before the day of the trial I reached an out of court settlement. I wish I could go on to discuss with you all the details I know you would like to hear about the settlement but the Judge in the matter sealed that information and forbids me from releasing it to you. The settlement did not fix my health problems, that much I can say.
It was finally over, or was it ? More can be found in the LEGAL SECTION....