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News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Development of “orphan drugs” in Europe is too slow

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 02 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:506
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. Abergavenny

    The development in Europe of “orphan drugs”—drugs for serious but rare conditions—is progressing too slowly, a research study has found.

    Of 255 products designated in four years by the European Union as “orphan drugs,” and therefore entitled to special grants, only 18 were eventually approved, say researchers in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (2006;61:355-60). They say that the low rate may be at least in part because of a paucity of European funds for companies willing to develop orphan drugs, and they call for urgent action.

    “There is an urgent need to establish …

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