Medicine: Eye Misery: Insurance loss halts drug test

Insurance loss halts drug test

It is an unsightly affliction. Victims of blepharospasm suffer from continual eyelid muscle spasms that clamp the lids closed for seconds to minutes. In effect, sufferers are left blind. Over the past six years, however, more than 2,300 Americans have had their blepharospasm symptoms eased by an experimental drug called Oculinum. But now nationwide testing has been halted because the manufacturer says he is no longer able to find an insurance company that will sell him affordable liability coverage. Apparent reason: Oculinum is made from botulinus toxin, the deadly bacterial poison that causes botulism.

Until the drug was developed, sufferers were...

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