FDA Revamps How It Reviews Cancer Drugs

Friday, July 16th 2004, 11:59 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Food and Drug Administration is revamping how it reviews drugs to treat, diagnose and prevent cancer, hoping to speed evaluation of the products.

Under the restructuring, a new Office of Oncology Drug Products will oversee both traditional chemotherapies and biologically based treatments, as well as imaging agents to diagnose cancer and the new field of cancer prevention drugs.

The hope is that having everything under one roof not only could speed evaluation, but ensure they're all held to the same scientific standards.

``We are committed to creating the most effective and efficient review process possible to ensure life-saving treatments are made available to cancer patients,'' said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who will announce the reorganization on Friday.

Officials couldn't quantify how much faster evaluations could be made. Cancer treatments already get quick reviews within FDA; one was cleared in a record seven weeks.