Kids v Cancer applauds Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Al Franken (D-MN) for their dedication to curing childhood diseases and supporting the bipartisan "Creating Hope Act of 2010."
The Creating Hope Act of 2010 will encourage the creation of new drugs for underserved children who suffer from serious and rare medical conditions, including life-threatening cancer, by providing a voucher to pharmaceutical companies who develop such drugs. This voucher would be used for any other drug -- particularly a blockbuster drug -- to receive FDA expedited approval, which would allow that drug to be delivered to market faster. The voucher would constitute a strong, market incentive for pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for children with serious and rare diseases, such as cancer. The Act builds on the "FDA Amendments Act of 2007," which established a voucher for drug development for neglected tropical diseases.
-- Over the past 20 years, the FDA has approved only one new drug
expressly developed for a pediatric cancer (vs. approving
"hand-me-down" drugs developed for adult cancers).
-- Still, children in the United States suffer from more than 6,000 rare
diseases (defined as having a prevalence of 200,000 or less). Of
those 6,000 diseases, only 200 have drug treatments.
"A priority for Kids v Cancer is to find ways to work with pharmaceutical companies to develop treatments for children with cancer and other rare diseases," said Nancy Goodman, Executive Director of Kids v Cancer. "This legislation aligns government and private sector interests and will be a major step forward in addressing the unmet needs of children with devastating illnesses, including life-threatening cancer," she continued. Ms. Goodman's 10-year old son, Jacob, died of brain cancer in 2009.
The "Creating Hope Act of 2010" will also add Chagas disease to the list of neglected tropical diseases and close a loophole in the 2007 FDA legislation that allowed pharmaceutical companies to receive vouchers for the introduction of existing drugs to the U.S. market.
In introducing this legislation, Senator Brown said, "We are falling woefully and inadequately short in our efforts to cure and treat rare and neglected pediatric diseases and conditions. The Creating Hope Act is aimed at doing exactly that--creating hope--for the millions of American children suffering from rare and pediatric diseases by increasing the incentives for pharmaceutical companies to expand research and development into these devastating illnesses."
KIDS V CANCER promotes pediatric cancer research by identifying structural impediments at key junctures in the research process-- access to funding, tissue and drugs - and developing strategies to resolve them. Kids v Cancer seeks to improve the research infrastructure to increase the prospect that every promising idea is fully explored.
For more information on the "Creating Hope Act of 2010," please visit www.kidsvcancer.org/drugs.