Report developed by Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development has made a comparison of FDA approved cancer drugs which have raised from 4% in the 1980s to 27% since 2010.
Experts speculate this to the oncology success rate, in addition to pharmaceutical companies’ new approach to drug development which focuses mainly on cancer treatments and validation of clinical trials. Experts allege these have become better since the past.
Moreover, FDA has drawn efforts towards speeding the process of introducing medicines to market which focus mainly on the current medical needs. This is also regarded as one of the major attributes for launching new cancer drugs.
Based on a report by Tufts, the development timeline for cancer drugs has become 9% longer in comparison to other diseases recorded between 1999 to 2018. However, it took FDA 48% shorter on average to approve cancer drugs. This is because oncology products were less likely to acquire special designations from the FDA.
Additionally, the Tufts report suggested that today’s pharmaceutical industry had become smarter when it came to identifying new targets for cancer treatment, including gene mutations. The demand for drugs was hence now created to address the needs of the patients who were more likely to respond to these medicines.
According to the report study, a large number of drugs approved in the past decade centered on inhibiting cancer driving protein kinases like NTRK, BRAF, MEK, in addition to Bruton’s tyrosine kinase.
Experts however also draw light on the flipside of the burgeoning progress in cancer drug development. Scientists claim the main reason is the development does not come cheap, neither for the pharma companies who discover the new products, nor for the healthcare system.
Total cost of developing any prescription drug estimated by Tufts is $3 billion. “Developers will be challenged to control development costs, particularly those tied to recruiting sufficient numbers of patients for clinical trials involving rare cancers, and manage payer pressure to control drug prices and contain pharmaceutical spending in the U.S.,” claimed Joseph DiMasi, a Ph.D. research associate professor. He is also the director of economic analysis at the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.