Rare dis­ease drug­mak­ers to Con­gress: Don't gut the ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval path­way

The con­tro­ver­sy over the FDA’s ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval path­way is heat­ing up.

Last week, the FDA’s top on­col­o­gy of­fi­cial Rick Paz­dur said the path­way is “un­der at­tack,” large­ly due to the agency’s re­cent ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval of Bio­gen’s con­tro­ver­sial Alzheimer’s drug and the sur­ro­gate end­point used in that de­ci­sion. In the mean­time, three ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval in­di­ca­tions have been pulled since Ju­ly 1 (two from Bris­tol My­ers Squibb and one from Mer­ck in re­cent weeks), even as Paz­dur called on crit­ics of the path­way to not miss the more pos­i­tive, big pic­ture, with some can­cer drugs prov­ing to be enor­mous­ly help­ful and ap­proved years be­fore their con­fir­ma­to­ry tri­als were com­plet­ed.

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