Kariann Gets Her Treatment

August 4, 2015

The #forKariann may have achieved its aim: Joshua Eyler, the academic who has been publicly pleading for Aetna to approve an experimental treatment for his wife’s chronic pain, announced Monday that her treatment was approved. Eyler’s wife, Kariann Fuqua, is a full-time, non-tenure-track instructor of writing and communication at Rice University who developed small fiber neuropathy last year and is in near-constant pain in her hands and feet. An expensive treatment held promise for a life beyond pain medication, but Aetna rejected the prescription on the grounds that it was still experimental for her condition. So Eyler, the director of Rice’s Center for Teaching Excellence who’d been blogging about his wife’s condition, built a Twitter campaign under the hashtag #forKariann for Aetna to change its decision. 

Eyler said that on Monday, as the couple was in the process of completing their first appeal, Fuqua’s doctor put in the treatment request again -- to the couple’s pharmaceuticals provider, Envision Pharmaceutical Services. Envision ultimately approved the treatment, Eyler said 

Fuqua will begin her treatment next week. 

“This means everything for our family,” said Eyler, who guessed that social media may have played a role in the decision, along with the persistence of his wife’s medical team. “It is a chance for her to live a life without as much pain. All we ever wanted was to have this chance, and now we turn our focus to the treatments themselves.”

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