East Greenwich’s Fachon, Who Fought the FDA for Experimental Treatment, Has Died

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


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Neil Fachon, successfully fought the FDA

Eugene “Neil” Fashion of East Greenwich, who fought the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be allowed to use an experimental treatment died Sunday evening, according to his family. 

Fachon, who had been a student at Northeastern University, had an incurable form of pediatric cancer — Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).  Fachon entered into an approved FDA clinical trial in April of 2016 and ten days into treatment, the FDA pulled the plug on the treatment.

Fachon and his family ultimately had to file a lawsuit in Federal Court reversing the FDA’s decision. 


Fachon's FDA Fight

Kathleen Hagerty and Thomas Dickinson, the attorneys for Fachon, had filed a suit against the FDA in federal court in Providence in May. The suit sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the FDA which allowed the previously approved Phase II Clinical Trial to resume.

The court ruled in favor of Fachon. Judge John McConnell granted the motions for the TRO against the FDA.

Fachon’s effort helped to create new awareness for efforts to fight for treatment. 


As Fachon’s motion argued:

"In or about March of this year Plaintiff was diagnosed by physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). The diagnosis was confirmed by Dr. Mark Kiernan of the Dana Farber Institute, a leading DIPG expert. 

This is a form of cancer for which there is no known cure, and which is expected to cause Plaintiff's death within approximately three months from his diagnosis. The standard care for DIPG patients is radiation therapy which is believed to prolong survival by no more than approximately three months.” 


Fachon lived nearly a year longer than doctors had diagnosed.


Funeral arrangements are pending.


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