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Cancer Drugs Approved Quickly Often Fail To Measure Up Later
National Public Radio

Cancer drugs that speed onto the market based on encouraging preliminary studies often don’t show clear benefits when more careful follow-up trials are done, according to research published Tuesday.

These cancer drugs are granted accelerated approval to give patients faster access to the treatments and to allow drug companies to reap the economic rewards sooner. As a condition of this process, the Food and Drug Administration requires drug companies to conduct more research, to confirm whether the medications actually work and are safe.

In 2018, the FDA looked back on 93 cancer drugs granted accelerated approval and touted that only five had been removed from the market over a 25-year span. A research team at Harvard Medical School’s Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law dug deeper to see what had happened with the rest.