Commentary: Review compromises cancer drug development

05/29/2008 | Wall Street Journal (free content), The

A decision by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, will have a disastrous effect on the U.S. cancer drug pipeline, Dr. Mark Thornton writes in The Wall Street Journal. Grassley has asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the FDA's fast-track approval of Avastin, a breast cancer drug, and the agency's use of "surrogate endpoints" in regulatory approvals. The senator's demand for a complete review of every FDA-approved drug undermines the agency's authority in ensuring product safety and comes at a time when the development of new products "is longer and costlier than the last," writes Thornton, a former medical officer at the FDA's Office of Oncology Products.

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