New cancer drugs in a fast-track approval program aren't getting to the U.S. market quicker than other cancer drugs, says a new study.
It found that all cancer drugs took about seven years to get approved, whether they were part of the Food and Drug Administration's "accelerated approval" program or not. The researchers looked at 19 drugs that had received accelerated approval since 1995 and 32 drugs given regular approval, USA Today reported.
The findings are a "disappointment," said study author Charles Bennett, a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. The study appears online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The accelerated approval program was created in 1992 in order to speed availability of promising drugs to patients with little time to live.
Bennett noted that patients with advanced cancer are often willing to accept a higher level of risk and the potential for serious side effects associated with new drugs if they offer hope for extending their lives, USA Today reported.
"We're not talking about people with skin conditions. These people are going to die," Bennett said.