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Cancer: Fast tracked drugs often do not improve clinical outcomes, say researchers

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q818 (Published 08 April 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q818
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

Most cancer drugs granted accelerated approval in the US did not demonstrate benefit in overall survival or quality of life in confirmatory trials after more than five years of follow-up, a new study shows.1

Some drugs improved overall survival, several were withdrawn because of inefficacy, multiple drugs had ongoing confirmatory studies, and others were converted to regular approval based on surrogate measures, according to an investigation published in JAMA.

Oncology drugs are increasingly approved through expedited pathways. In the UK this happens through the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund and in the US through the Food and Drug Administration’s accelerated approval pathway.

This latest study follows research published in The BMJ which analysed oncology drugs approved by the European …

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