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Life-changing medication reminds mother of IQVIA’s commitment

Celina Buelga is intimately familiar with the impact of IQVIA’s work and the power clinical research has on patient lives.

Many of us are on a quest to find a career with greater purpose… one that makes a positive contribution to healthcare, addresses societal issues, or tackles causes we are passionate about. Medical doctor and associate director of medical safety in Argentina, Celina Buelga, is intimately familiar with the impact of IQVIA’s work and how the end result can change people’s lives.

After working for more than 15 years in clinical research, Celina has seen how a newly approved orphan disease medication has completely turned her teenage daughter’s life around.

Celina’s daughter, Dolores, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at her birth. After a month of neonatal care and several operations – and no cure for cystic fibrosis – Dolores was discharged to a life of daily respiratory kinesiotherapy, nebulization, pancreatic enzymes and antibiotics, and periodic medical check-ups.

Despite Dolores’ positivity and vibrant outlook on life, her health continued to deteriorate.

Celina, who joined IQVIA in 2018, was working as a sub-investigator and study coordinator in hospitals and then as a senior CRA for various CROs and labs, supporting more than 50 clinical trials.

“I have experienced the start-up phase to the closure of the centers, showing how new treatments were improving the lives of millions of people, even curing diseases that at one time seemed impossible,” Celina said. “This gave me hope that one day the tide would turn for a new cystic fibrosis therapy. I knew that, just as I was working on protocols for other pathologies, there were also many people working on a potential treatment my daughter’s mutation.”

A new CF treatment is approved

And the tide did turn. Clinical trials yielded the first triple combination therapy for patients with the most common CF mutation, which the FDA approved in October 2019...

“In just one year, my daughter regained 30 pounds, her spirometry (lung function) and chest computed tomography improved, and her lab values returned to normal,” Celina said. “It was a miracle. She stopped coughing, stopped taking antibiotics and returned to running and playing sports.”

Today, Dolores continues to thrive. And for Celina, the brighter outlook for Dolores reinforces the importance of her work at IQVIA.

“Do not forget that behind the desk, the computer or daily task list, there are patients and relatives waiting for a cure or a drug that improves their lives,” she said. “Every day I am benefiting from the work of companies like IQVIA and I’m receiving the prize through my daughter’s new medication and new life. The patient is what really matters, and the work we do really does make an impact.”

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