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Many Cancer Drugs Still Unproven 5 Years After Being Given Accelerated Approval in United States


New research questions the effectiveness of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s accelerated drug approval program after finding that many cancer drugs remain unproven five years later.

[Image source: Adobe Stock]


It isn’t just in the United States that many drugs used in the treatment of cancer are unproven. An analysis of 32 cancer drugs approved by the European Medicines Agency between 2014 and 2016 found that only 9 of them were supported by at least one randomized controlled clinical trial judged to be at low risk of bias. Around half of the trials carried out to test the drugs were considered to be at high risk of exaggerating the treatments’ supposed benefits.

Published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the analysis also revealed that the majority of trials didn’t even evaluate overall patient survival as a primary outcome. In other words, most of the 32 cancer drugs were approved without establishing, as a key outcome, whether or not they increase patients’ lifespans.

To learn more about the way in which cancer drugs are approved based on biased and exaggerated evidence, see this article on our website.