Cooperation Essential to Lifesaving Medicines

Cooperation Essential to Lifesaving Medicines

02.07.13 | By Stephanie Fischer

Friends of Cancer Research joined FasterCures to host a briefing on Capitol Hill yesterday on the "Blueprint of Medical Research-How Medicines Get from the Lab to a Patient." It featured representative stakeholders across the long and challenging process of drug development from the National Institutes of Health which funds basic research to a university cancer center where research is conducted, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research which funds translational research, a biopharmaceutical company that takes a promising compound through pre-clinical and clinical testing, and the Food and Drug Administration which ultimately decides if a medicine is safe and effective.

In the guest post below, Ryan Hohman, Managing Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Friends of Cancer Research, explains the need for new treatments for cancer patients and the importance of clinical trials in the development of new medicines.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month, and leading a healthy lifestyle to prevent certain cancers is essential for every American. Just as important, however, is creating an environment that facilitates the discovery of new, lifesaving treatments. Bringing a drug to market is time consuming and expensive, but essential. Thousands of innovators and stakeholders, from researchers in labs to patients participating in clinical trials to government officials, are part of this process. At all times, patient safety is a priority.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease. In 2013, approximately 1,660,290 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed, and more than 580,000 people will likely die of the disease this year. As a result, Friends of Cancer Research is focused on making new treatments a reality for patients.

The research and development process is key to helping Americans suffering from debilitating diseases. Clinical trials to test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose or treat cancer and other devastating diseases are an essential component of the research process. Patients who decide to participate in clinical research contribute to scientists' knowledge about a particular disease and help in the development of improved treatments that may be used to treat - or even cure- more patients in the future.

ClinicalTrials.gov is a great resource for patients and doctors interested in learning more about clinical trials, both ongoing and completed. You can search for trials based on the condition and type of intervention being studied in a clinical trial as well as by the location and sponsor.

Friends of Cancer Research co-sponsored a briefing with FasterCures on Capitol Hill yesterday with NIH Director Collins, FDA Commissioner Hamburg and leadership from advocacy, academia, industry and philanthropy, to emphasize just how important it is to improve and accelerate research and development. Hundreds of attendees from all sectors, including the House and Senate, participated in the event, and we encourage you to connect with us directly at www.focr.org to stay informed on the importance of cancer research, treatment and awareness.

More On PhRMA — powered by PhRMApedia