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Letters to the Editor: Dying While Waiting for the FDA to Act
We do not, normally, cite letters to the editor, but since over the past two weeks we have posted links to two Wall Street Journal editorials highlighting the saga of Kianna Karnes, a kidney cancer patient who died waiting for access to experimental cancer treatments, we are making an exception. This letter to the Journal is from David Minor, president of the Kidney Cancer Foundation, who writes that
We agree with [the Wall Street Journal] that the [FDA’s] insistence on placebo-controlled trials is unscientific and antiquated, and is followed only erratically. AIDS drugs are routinely approved on the basis of “surrogate endpoints,” not requiring placebo controls, but we suppose cancer patients must, like AIDS patients before them, demonstrate in Washington to get the needed attention and FDA recognition of appropriate, cancer-specific scientific endpoints… Kidney cancer patients need help, and don’t care whether it comes from Congress, Dr. Richard Padzur (head of FDA cancer drugs evaluation), Dr. Lester Crawford (acting commissioner of the FDA) or President Bush. They just want some help before it’s too late.
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