"We were very fortunate to be not only part of the Vanish II study that brought Varithena to market, but to actually be the principal investigator to the Vanish II study, which is a multi-center study that went through a very rigorous FDA process to bring this drug to market," said Dr. Kenneth Todd, a vascular and lymphatic medicine specialist in Dothan, Alabama.
Dr. Todd led the research team that developed the injection Varithena, a commercial grade foam used for the treatment of veins. Doctors say it's more effective and much safer than other treatments. The Food and Drug Administration approved it in September 2013, and it was released a few days ago.
Todd says it's the first drug brought to market through a study done in Houston County, with a local doctor submitting the FDA application.
"We're very proud of the fact that we have been able to be a part of this long ongoing process, because this is a product that will be an option for many people that don't have other options," Todd said.
Reports show half of all women 50 and older have a form of varicose veins, and more people die from blood clots than from AIDS and breast cancer combined, according to research.
"Most people in the general public don't realize that varicose vein disease can lead to clots in the leg, discoloration of the leg. It's not just a cosmetic problem," said Todd.
In addition, Todd says Varithena will play a major role in the future treatment of these conditions, and he says the research done on the product will also help local medical students.
"With our new medical school, where research is a large part of their program, it's very nice to have had that program already get started by having a commercially available FDA-approved sclerosa that was created right here at home," Todd said.
He says ongoing research will help doctors apply the procedure to other types of therapy.
Doctors say you should never put off seeing a specialist for a formal diagnosis if you notice any symptoms, as it will help them detect any life-threatening issues.
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