Is there such a thing, and does it really work? The folks at Cephalon, a mid-size player in the pharmaceutical industry seem to think so and they’ve got the medical test results to back up their findings. Plus, I’ve got the first hand experience to back it up, too.
A year ago this week I was locked in a medical lab in rural France participating in a study for the drug Nuvigil. And the drug was supposed to be approved by the US Food & Drug Administration shortly before the new year but that decision has been delayed now a few months “to allow more time to analyze the data,” according to Cephalon.
The drug works by preventing users from feeling sleepy, not by actually changing the circadian rhythms of the body. And it works pretty well in my experience, maybe too well. On days two and three of the trial I was somewhat jittery with the dosage I was on. The easy answer to that is simply to not take it for as many days as the trial required but it is worth being aware of.
Another potential limiting factor in the drug’s acceptance is the price. It is expected to cost at least $9 per pill. That’s a lot for a drug but not so bad when you consider that most folks will only use a couple pills per year. For the cost of a couple extra large coffees on arrival a medical solution is possible. Not too shabby.
There’s some coverage of the drug in today’s New York Times, including a couple quotes from me at the end. Yes, the food really was that bad.
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