While it's taking less time to discover potential new treatments, those gains are offset by the rising expense and duration required to get innovations developed and approved by the FDA so that they can be used in patient care.
The development and approval process for a new cancer drug can take 10 years. In fact, the development of new cancer drugs is becoming costlier and taking longer because the FDA still insists on testing cancer medicines as if we weren't able to match patients to treatments. In fact, it often takes longer to get a new cancer medicine through the FDA than other medicines.
During the AIDS epidemic, the FDA said it couldn't get HIV medicines to market any faster. Nevertheless, AIDS activists demanded faster action and got it. New cancer medicines have also been sped to patients, but the development and approval process is taking longer today than it did 20 years ago.
We need different rules to keep up with the pace of progress and to honor the lives of people living with cancer.
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