A Story of a highly promising banker with a bright career named Charles Oben working with the United Bank of Africa,UBA has had his dreams and aspirations cut short by some drugs which he took to correct a minor ailment which he suffered.
It started when Charles was posted to Burkina Faso and in his usual meticulous self visited a Cardiologist for a routine check. They found out that his urea level was high and the drug Zyloric (manufactured by Glaxo Smithkline (GSK) Pharmaceuticals) C was prescribed. He bought the drug for about N1,300 and dutifully took administered dosage. However in less than 36 hours his life was turned into a living hell.
Blisters, skin peeling, eyes destroyed, bleeding from everywhere, bed sores and everything imaginable became his plight. His wife Joan flew in, saw her husband and melted. His children came in and ran away. Mirrors where kept away from him.
Charles condition is known as the Stephen Johnson Syndrome (SJS) typically caused by a severe allergic reaction to a medication. SJS usually begins with a Stevens Johnson Syndrome rash that can lead to blistering, severe peeling and open sores. The condition is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease.
Charles was eventually evacuated to the UK with the private efforts of Joan and his family and there he received succor but with lasting side effects. He has had two cornea replacement surgeries and much more devastating is the fact that he cannot shed a tear for the rest of his natural life. He has been confined to the use of artificial tear inducing drugs which he buys from America at the cost of $200 monthly.
He has dragged Glaxo Smithkline the manufacturer of the drug to court for the irreparable damages to his life.
Joan, Charles’ dedicated wife wants the Nigerian government to push the pharmaceutical companies in the country to take proactive steps in warning consumers not only about the side effect of their drugs, but also about the severity that such side effects may escalate.
She said, “drug companies will stop taking advantage of the populace. That legislation should force them to write the warnings in the right language and in the right context in the leaflet. If Zyloric, or any of its other commercial names can possibly lead to SJS, which can lead to blindness and death, it should say so on the drug and it should say so in the local language. English for Nigeria.”