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Study in diversity

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Tuesday, May 14, 2002 5:16AM EDT

 LETTER

Lotronex and beyond

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As a sufferer of irritable bowel syndrome I was heartened to see that you had the guts (pun intended) to put the story about Lotronex, a drug for IBS, on the front page of the newspaper on April 24 rather than burying it in the "bowels" of the back pages.

IBS is an extremely common disorder, but one for which most sufferers feel all alone because it isn't OK to talk about such things in polite company.

Thanks also to the members of the Lotronex Action Group (http://www.lotronexactiongroup.org/) and Jeffery Roberts who runs a self- help and support group (www.ibsgroup.org) for having the courage to speak out about an illness that most people do not want to hear about.

If you have IBS, you are not alone, and there are many ways to "come out of the bathroom" and fight for proper diagnosis and treatment of a disorder that haunts 15 percent of people in the United States and is one of the leading causes of workplace absences.

We need not only this drug, but continued research into drugs for IBS. This research will not continue, in my opinion, if IBS drugs are perceived to be drugs that cannot be approved in the United States.

Kathleen Mottus

Burlington

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