Biden’s ‘end cancer’ pledge begs for environmental oversight – President Biden pledged last week to “end cancer as we know it,” a bold promise focused on boosting funding to the National Institutes of Health for a special Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health. But public health experts who have spent their careers examining environmental causes of cancer say it may not be possible to truly stop cancer without EPA stepping in.
To Stay: Two More Cancer Indications With ‘Dangling Approvals’ – Kerry Dooley Young, Medscape News: April 29, 2021 Two more cancer indications that had been granted accelerated approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are going to stay in place, at least for now. This was the verdict after the second day of a historic 3-day meeting (April 27–29) and follows a similar verdict from … Continue reading To Stay: Two More Cancer Indications With ‘Dangling Approvals’
FDA Scrutinizes Pricey Cancer Drugs – Politico Pulse, April 28, 2021: Will FDA maintain approval for cancer drugs that are proven to not work? We were hoping for a reckoning, but that doesn’t seem likely as the doctors on the FDA Advisory panel tell FDA that they are hopeful that the drugs will eventually be proven to work.
Can California’s public universities mandate COVID-19 vaccines? – Monterey Herald, April 26, 2021: Dr. Diana Zuckerman and Robert Kaplan address the possibility of mandatory vaccinations at California public colleges and strategies to ensure policies can withstand legal choices.
Conflicts Galore: Upcoming Accelerated Approval Cancer Panel May Be Tainted By Industry Relationships – Sarah Karlin-Smith, Pink Sheet: April 21, 2021 Six members of the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee received conflict of interest waivers to participate in the agency’s upcoming three-day meeting to review the accelerated approval of six checkpoint inhibitor indications after the three cancer immunotherapies at issue failed to confirm clinical benefit in post-market trials raising … Continue reading Conflicts Galore: Upcoming Accelerated Approval Cancer Panel May Be Tainted By Industry Relationships
4 in 10 Adults Over 50 Consult Online Reviews When Picking a Doctor – HealthDay, April 14, 2021. Finding a new doctor can be a daunting task. For help, many older adults turn to online reviews, a new study finds. In fact, many people rate online reviews as highly as they would a recommendation from friends and family when picking a doctor. Dr. Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, said that choosing a doctor is a complex undertaking.
What Genentech is doing to fix biotech’s diversity problem – Fortune, April 7, 2021. There’s a big problem with clinical trials: a lack of diversity. This problem led researchers to believe that Black women did not develop breast cancer as frequently as white women and created a gap in understanding how different treatments work. How can companies like Genentech start increasing diversity in clinical trials?
The FDA Cut Off COVID Vaccine Testing. That Was a Really Bad Idea. – Washington Monthly, March 26, 2021: Not since the polio vaccine became available in April 1955 have Americans been so excited about getting a shot. But behind the scenes, there’s a lot we don’t know because of a decision made back in December by the FDA. The agency allowed manufacturers to effectively stop their clinical trials as soon as they were authorized to market their vaccines, making it impossible to learn how long the vaccines work and for whom.
The Differences Between the Vaccines Matter – Hilda Bastian, The Atlantic: March 7, 2021 Public-health officials are enthusiastic about the new, single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, despite its having a somewhat lower efficacy at preventing symptomatic illness than other available options. Although clinical-trial data peg that rate at 72 percent in the United States, compared with 94 and 95 percent for the … Continue reading The Differences Between the Vaccines Matter
Janet Woodcock revolutionized the way the FDA reviews cancer drugs, inspiring her supporters and raising concerns for detractors – STAT News, March 1, 2021. The FDA is approving more new cancer drugs than ever before, after FDA’s drug chief Janet Woodcock loosened FDA standards. Now cancer doctors are Woodcock’s most vocal backers in her campaign to be FDA Commissioner. But critics say too many approved cancer drugs aren’t proven to help patients live longer.
Drug Industry Pushes FDA to Solve Growing Inspection Backlog – Politico, March 2, 2021. The FDA is under pressure from the pharmaceutical industry to address the growing backlog of drug inspections — nearly a year after Covid-19 prompted the agency to halt most plant visits. From March through September, FDA inspected just three plants outside the U.S. and 52 within the U.S., well below the 600 and 400, respectively in each of the prior two years. NCHR president reports device inspections have also dropped dramatically.
J&J COVID-19 Vaccine Wins Unanimous Backing of FDA Panel – Medscape Medical News, February 26, 2021. An FDA advisory panel lent their support today to a rapid clearance for Janssen/Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, but several researchers expressed concerns to the panel about the lower standards of EUAs, including CPTF’s president Dr. Diana Zuckerman.
What you need to know about J&J’s newly authorized one-shot COVID-19 vaccine – ScienceNews: February 27, 2021. On February 27, the FDA authorized Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the U.S. The other two authorized vaccines are made by Pfizer and Moderna. None are FDA approved. All show effectiveness, but there are too few serious COVID-19 cases in any of the studies to conclude how well it prevents hospitalizations or deaths.
Who Will Be the Next F.D.A. Chief? – New York Times: February 20, 2021. One month into his presidency, President Biden still has not named a candidate to head the Food and Drug Administration, a critical position at a time when new vaccines and coronavirus treatments are under the agency’s review. This has spurred a public lobbying campaign by supporters of the two apparent front-runners, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, a former high-ranking F.D.A. official and Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting commissioner.
FDA blasts Merck’s Keytruda data for new breast cancer indication – Stat News, February 5, 2021. The cancer drug Keytruda is a medical and financial juggernaut, but it may not win FDA approval for early-stage triple negative breast cancer. FDA medical reviewers agreed there is a need for new treatments, but Keytruda did not impress them with its small benefit of “questionable clinical meaningfulness” and serious safety issues. NCHR’s Dr. Zuckerman said “This is one of the most negative reviews I’ve ever seen.”
Patients Continue to Be Inadequately Informed of Risk for Breast Implant-Associated ALCL – Cancer Therapy Advisor, February 8, 2021. Although the risk for breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) has been well-documented, patients considering breast implants continue to be inadequately informed of the propensity for disease development. Awareness of BIA-ALCL has risen since 2020, but adequate safeguards have not yet been put in place, according to experts in the field, including Dr. Diana Zuckerman of the National Center for Health Research and their Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund.
A C.D.C. analysis describes anaphylaxis after people have received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as ‘rare’ – New York Times: January 11, 2021 Allergic reactions to Covid vaccines are rare, but serious, and every site that administers vaccines must be prepared to recognize and treat them, health officials warn.
Congressman calls for FDA to continue vaccine trials – ABC, December 29, 2020. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas wrote to the FDA urging COVID-19 clinical trials to continue until they have more data.
Covid-19: Should vaccine trials be unblinded? – BMJ, December 29, 2020. Volunteers in COVID-19 vaccine studies want the vaccine, not placebos, but stopping studies early could be dangerous.
How Effective Is the Mask You’re Wearing? You May Know Soon – The New York Times, December 16, 2020. A CDC division is working with an industry standards group to develop filtration standards — and products that meet them will be able to carry labels saying so.
FDA Panel Reviewing Pfizer Vaccine Leaves Out Some Experts Who Raised Concerns – POGO, December 9, 2020. FDA’s COVID19 vaccine panel did not include experts who raised concerns about Pfizer’s data at a previous meeting.
Four ways Trump has meddled in pandemic science — and why it matters – Nature, November 3, 2020. Donald Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic looms large in the election. One issue that resonates with the research community, including CPTF, is the extent to which the current president and his administration have meddled with science and scientific advice during the pandemic — often with disastrous results.
HEALTH CARE BRIEFING: FDA Vaccine Rules Challenged as Weak – Bloomberg Gov, October 23, 2020. Scientists and advocates challenge coronavirus vaccine testing standards at FDA advisory meeting.
FDA Panel To Lay Regulatory Groundwork For COVID-19 Vaccine – NPR, October 22, 2020. Dr. Diana Zuckerman spoke about testing for vaccine safety at the FDA advisory meeting on Covid-19 vaccine approval.
FDA Promises Strong Safety Standards for Covid-19 Vaccines as It Convenes Advisory Panel – WSJ, October 23, 2020. FDA promises strong safety testing for coronavirus vaccines even as current standards criticized at advisory meeting.
FDA Vaccine Rules Challenged as Weak at Advisory Panel Meeting – Bloomberg Business, October 23, 2020. Scientists and advocates criticize weak Covid-19 vaccine standards at FDA Advisory Panel Meeting.
Study finds removing breast implants improved symptoms – AzFamily.com, October 1, 2020. The FDA is finally encouraging better information about the risks of cancer, breast implant illness, and other health problems for women considering breast implants. But we agree with patients that the agency could do so much more.
FDA Updates Breast Implant Labeling Recommendations to Help Inform Patients About Dangerous Potential Side Effects – Cure, September 29, 2020. Makers of breast implants should include a black box warning about cancer and other serious risks, along with a patient decision checklist for patients to sign, according to final guidance issued by the FDA.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic May Affect Cancer Clinical Trials – Cancer Therapy Advisor, August 18, 2020. The dangers of Covid-19, especially to cancer patients, are upending access to clinical trials for cancer treatments.
MLB’s return plan mirrors the Bundesliga’s. The key difference? It’s in the U.S., not Germany. – Washington Post, June 3, 2020. There are lots of challenges facing major league baseball’s efforts to avoid the coronavirus. We explain that one of the biggest challenges are the hot spot states where baseball teams are supposed to play.
DOT Wants to Weaken Its Own Power to Penalize Airlines Over Consumer Complaints – Fair Warning July 1, 2020. Are airlines doing all they should to make flying safe again? Filling every seat is not a good idea, and that’s just one of many problems that make flying and buying airline tickets risky.
We can’t ever go to the doctor with our guard down’: Why Black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer – Fortune Magazine: June 30, 2020 Black Americans are dying from the COVID-19 pandemic at a disproportionately high rate, and are also much more likely to die from many other health problems. Black women are less likely to develop breast cancer but 40% more likely to die from it than White women. The reasons behind this awful disparity are wide-ranging, and include systemic problems both within healthcare and far beyond it.
CRS: Congress Can Rein In FDA’s Flexible COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Policies – Inside Health Policy, June 03, 2020. The Congressional Research Service says Congress could rein in FDA’s COVID-19 policies by passing a law, and NCHR explains why that is a good idea.
Hahn Defends Using Less ‘Robust’ Data During COVID, But Critics Contend It Has Gone Too Far – Informa Pharma Intelligence, June 04, 2020. NCHR asserts that anecdotes are not data sets, this problematic situation can been seen in new drugs for coronavirus.
Allergan is trying to track down women with breast implants it recalled nearly a year ago – Fortune, June 3, 2020. Allergan has asked small nonprofit organizations to help inform tens of thousands of women that they have a type of breast implant that has been recalled due to increased cancer risks.
A Patient’s Guide to Telemedicine – Drugwatch, May 20, 2020. NCHR advises Drugwatch about preparing ahead of time for telemedicine visits in order to make the best out of the appointment.
FDA Warns Allergan Over Breast Implant Studies – International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, May 19, 2020. The FDA warns Allergan over failure to complete breast implant studies.
How MLB is navigating the coronavirus pandemic to play ball – ESPN, May 19, 2020. We explain to ESPN the importance of quarantining and social distancing, even in a time where sporting events will start to reopen.
‘They killed her’: Why are breast implants still putting millions of women at risk? – Fortune, May 18, 2020. Breast implants and the other “medical aesthetics” products that are driving profits are also endangering women’s health.
You Can’t Travel, but You Can Vacation at Home – AARP, May 12, 2020. In times of coronavirus stress, here are ideas for a relaxing home-cation, because everyone needs time off.
Tests for COVID-19: Has the FDA said yes too many times? – The Hill Opinion Contributors, May 6, 2020. Most tests being sold in the U.S. aren’t proven to be accurate by unbiased scientists. Here’s what you need to know.
Coronavirus Relief Act Gives Drug Makers New Sway Over FDA – Pogo, May 5, 2020. Under the $2 trillion coronavirus relief law, makers of over-the-counter drugs will pay the FDA to oversee their products and will gain new sway over the consumer protection agency.
‘Bad advice from the president’: Trump touts unproven coronavirus drugs – Politico: March 20, 2020. We find that the president’s suggested programs allowing the administration to get experimental drugs to people quickly outside of clinical trials is bad advice.
Celebrities Are Getting Coronavirus Tests Faster Than Everyone Else – Insider, March 13, 2020. We explain why celebrities have been tested for coronavirus before sick patients who need a diagnosis.
FDA considers black box warning for all breast implants – WCPO Cincinnati, February 09, 2020. The FDA may finally require blackbox warnings for women considering breast implants, due to complications connected to implants after a mastectomy.
Artificial Intelligence Is Rushing Into Patient Care – And Could Raise Risks – Kaiser Health News, December 24, 2019. AI systems are not as rigorously tested as other medical devices, and the recalls show these apparent and serious risks.
No Shortage of Controversies for New FDA Commissioner – The Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2020. New FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn faces tug of war over controversial issues in health, including e-cigarettes, stem-cell research, and the use of cannabidiol (CBD).
Everything is designed for men, even drugs – Vox, January 16, 2020. Designing medicine around the “average man” is so dangerous. We need more inclusivity in clinical trials — for women, for people over 65, and for people of color.
Device warning letters plunged nearly 90% over 5 years. An FDA official predicts a rebound – MedTech Dive, January 10, 2020. FDA warning letters to medical device manufacturers slid by nearly 90% between 2015 and 2019, but may be set to rebound upward in 2020.
Schools Seek Ways to Curb Vaping Among Students – The Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2020. With the rise of vaping related illnesses, schools turn to new tactics to deter students from vaping.