Demand cancer drugs that truly help patients
Drug regulators and trial designs should assess benefits that actually matter to people with cancer, says Ajay Aggarwal.
Already this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved or extended the use of several cancer drugs that have yet to show they will prolong life or improve its quality. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that such benefits will be demonstrated over time, and these drugs, like most cancer treatments, increase the risk of side effects such as diarrhoea and susceptibility to infection. In my view, regulators should ensure that drugs benefit patients before allowing them to persist on the market.
By Ajay Aggarwal