Friday, February 20, 2004

Donald Sensing writes about a potential cure for cancer. It doesn't sound as promising to me as it seems to be to him, but it did put me in mind of a serious peeve of mine: The FDA.

Hundreds of thousands of people die of cancer every year in the US alone. According to, over a half million Americans are expected to die of cancer this year. Yet promising treatments have to go through years and years of increasingly large trials before they could EVER come to market. Let's say that this particular treatment, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one.... or some combination of them really does cure cancer. How many millions of people will die between the time that such a cancer cure drug first shows it's promise and the time 5+ years later when it finally earns FDA approval?

While the FDA has recently made strides toward shortening the time required to bring certain types of drugs to market, it is not enough.