NBC Evening News for Thursday, Jun 01, 1978
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(Studio) Report is on back pain and controversy over drug used for treatment between FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and back pain sufferers.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(Chicago, Illinois) Treatment for back pain with drug called chymopapain of furniture mover Ivor Lewis, American League baseball player Bill Melton and pro football player Virgil Carter reported Films shown. Is stated that drug is made from enzyme that comes from papaya and has been tested in leading hospitals throughout nation Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyman Smith's findings about drug detailed. [SMITH - notes advantages of drug's use.] Disagreement of neurosurgeons like Howard University's Dr. Bernard Sussman reported [SUSSMAN - says idea that patient can get better because physician makes injection is preposterous.] Smith's sale of patent for drug to Baxter Labs, with understanding that continued testing would take place, cited. Tests by Baxter Labs at Walter Reed Med. Center in Washington, DC and 3 other sites outlined; results reported and Baxter's withdrawal of application for drug's approval, after consultation with FDA, noted. [Former FDA dir. Dr. Alexander SCHMIDT - says even enthusiasts of drug said they couldn't recommend approval of it after evaluating study.] Steven Fisher's trips to Toronto, Canada, where chymopapain is legal, cited as ex. of efforts of some Americans to get drug; procedure for administration drug detailed. Report of Canadian physician who admins. drug with regard to its effectiveness and lack of side effects given. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) authorization of new tests in use of drug and refusal to release any information on chymopapain stated. [SMITH - notes widespread use of drug in other countries. Asks why it's safe there and not in Chicago.]
REPORTER: Jim Riddle