Advocacy

Please sign the Fluoroquinolone Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/Cipro/petition-sign.html

Report your adverse reactions by contacting the FDA via the Medwatch program: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/medwatch-online.htm

Contact the Media to promote advocacy: http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=111

Ask A Patient: Tell others about your adverse reaction. http://www.askapatient.com

Fluoroquinolone Doctor Directory and Victim Database:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AkU7-7w8ahD0dGVoR21DSnpYWnN4RmZBWnFRbkFRcmc&authkey=CMyplJYK&hl=en#gid=0

Contact your elected officials: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

Example of elected official letter: Official Letter Page 1 , Official Letter Page 2

Here are some tools to help you or a family member in this advocacy process. 
How to Contact Your Legislator

FIND YOUR LEGISLATOR:
To determine your representatives you can do the following: Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121  

Email:
Most emails are handled in the same manner as traditional mail. It is a faster method of communication when time is of the essence. The email should contain the following important information.

  • Information about Fluoroquinolone toxicity. 
  • Your personal story. 
  • Your viewpoint on Fluoroquinolone toxicity. Explain why it is important and how it will impact the community. 
  • A request for a response. Include your home address and contact information.

Letters: 
It is important to know that your letters do count. All Congressional mail is opened, read, and noted for the issues raised. The letter serves several functions:

  • A thank you for any past Congressional support.
  • To educate your representative in Congress about Fluoroquinolone toxicity.
  • To tell your personal story. 
  • To express your viewpoint on a particular issue. Explain why it is important and how it will impact the community. 
  • To ask for a response. Include your home address and contact information. Try to keep the letter to one page.  This typically is the slowest method of communication, but it is still effective.   

Telephone Calls: 
Telephone calls to the Washington office or local district office is another method of communication that can be used. Members of the House and Senate have health aides to help deal with the day-to-day issues of the constituents. Without setting up an appointment, it may be hard to contact the health aide on short notice to discuss your views. Always make note of the person’s name who you contacted.

Visiting a Member of Congress:
Schedule an appointment. You or a family member can visit the district office in your local area or the Washington D.C. office. Call the member’s office well in advance of when you intend to visit. Be prepared to clearly state the reason you want an appointment. Contact the scheduler to arrange an appointment. You may be asked to fax or write your request for an appointment. When visiting a district office, House and Senate members may be available to meet with you in person when Congress is in recess (check schedule on government websites). In most instances, a staff member, usually the health aide, will be assigned to meet you and discuss your concerns. Confirm the appointment a day before the meeting.

The Visit:    
Be prompt and patient. Very often it will be a legislative aide you are seeing. Try to establish rapport with the aide or legislator at the beginning of the appointment. If you go with a group (your family or other members of your Fluoroquinolone support group), designate a spokesperson to introduce your group and state the purpose of your visit. Speak plainly and from the heart. Your personal story or of someone you care about is a powerful way to communicate with your elected officials.  Tell your story with clear, everyday words. Keep their interest but respect their time. Make your point in a short time and with passion. Leave information about Fluoroquinolone toxicity. 

After The Visit:
Send a thank you note and any information on Fluoroquinolone toxicity that you promised.

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