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Queensbury mother honored as 'Woman of the Year'

2011-05-29T16:03:00Z 2011-05-29T16:41:48Z Queensbury mother honored as 'Woman of the Year'By JON ALEXANDER jalexander@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star

QUEENSBURY -- The mother of a local suicide victim has taken the offensive against prescription drugs with potentially harmful side effects, and her work is getting statewide attention.

Kate Miller’s son, Cody, took his life in 2007 — 17 days after beginning a regiment of Singulair to treat seasonal allergies. Cody was an underclassman at Queensbury High School.

Since her son’s death, Miller has tried to improve how the potential side effects of prescriptions drugs are reported. She has made regular trips to Washington, D.C., and in 2009 was rewarded when the Food and Drug Administration required Singulair’s maker, Merck, to post warnings of the drug’s potential psychological effects, including depression, anxiety and suicide.

Miller’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed in Albany.

Last week, she the regional winner of the state’s Woman of Distinction honor, given this year to 55 women from New York state who have had a lasting effect on society.

"I will remember this night always," Miller said.

She was nominated for the award by state Sen Betty Little, R-Queensbury. Little has joined Miller on several of her trips.

"Her effort to require the critically important notification warning others to the serious side effects will prevent future tragedies," Little said following the award ceremony at the state Capitol.

While the drug manufacturer must now report Singulair’s potential side effects, Miller isn’t done yet. She’s lobbying Washington for the drug to bear the "black label," one of the FDA’s most serious warnings.

Miller said that shortly after beginning taking Singulair, Cody began displaying irregular behaviors and told her he didn’t feel like himself.

At the local level, Miller and her husband, Dave, created the annual "Climb for Cody" fundraising walk. Earlier this month, the event raised more than $13,000 for local suicide awareness and outreach programming.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. Bridget217
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    Bridget217 - June 17, 2011 4:12 pm
    I am so very sorry for your loss and so appreciate what you are doing to make the drug companies pay attention to the ones who are making them rich, the human beings that trustingly take the drugs that they are told are at least relatively safe.My 5 year old son was put on Singulair for a chronic night-time cough caused by allergies and it changed my fun,mischevious, articulate little 5 year old into an aggressive, self-loathing (I can't do it,I can't do anything) weepy kid that had no impulse control and exhibited ADD symptoms and had me thinking about calling a psychologist. It is a very powerful drug (psychotropically speaking) and should be prescribed with extreme caution and NEVER to children. I read stories of children being put on Ritalin and other drugs for behavior issues when their behaviors went away after discontinuing Singulair. Thank you again for fighting the good fight for so many.
  2. Counselor Troi
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    Counselor Troi - May 31, 2011 7:42 am
    What a sad way to get such deserving recognition. Thank you for your hard work; a wonderful way to turn such a painful event into something so positive and helpful for others.
  3. Seriously 1
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    Seriously 1 - May 29, 2011 9:33 pm
    No one deserves it more!Though I wish Cody were still here for you to hold, to dream with, his death has saved countless other mothers the same pain. I am one of them. My son, though younger than Cody was placed on Singulair, within ten days, we was withdrawn and aggitated. Two days later I learned of your crusade in DC. That night he never took another pill, I cannot thank you enough for saving my son. Each year I hike, I have a team,we raise money, and we remember Cody. Kate you are more than a Woman of the Year, you and Cody, are my angels.
  4. Resident of GF
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    Resident of GF - May 29, 2011 8:26 pm
    Wow it's great to read positive news like this. A "woman of the year" lost her son but saved many others by fighting the drug companies that push their pills on people. Singular is something I also took and stopped taking as an adult. Not because of odd behavior more physical reasons. I felt like I could not swallow. Keep up that positivity!
  5. localmom
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    localmom - May 29, 2011 4:30 pm
    I am very sorry about your son. My son and neice were maybe 9 yrs old and put on Singulair for allergies. They both exhibited odd behavior. We told their doctors and one said to take her off, mine said that shouldn't happen and put it down to a familial thing! We both took our children off it. I believe doctors should listen when parents say something is wrong. Just because a symptom isn't "supposed" to be a side effect, that doesn't mean it should be discounted.

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