Has compassionate use ever sunk a drug?

Click here to read a recent International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Editorial by RESIST-TB members, Sarah McAnaw, Carole Mitnick, and Bob Horsburgh.

“New treatments for a serious disease generate understandable excitement among patients with life-threatening conditions. As pharmaceutical companies consider compassionate use of experimental drugs, one factor is commonly cited as a barrier to such use: fear that adverse events incurred by patients during Compassionate Use/Expanded Access (CU/EA) will impede regulatory approval of the drug. Such concerns stem from the obligation to report adverse events—that are serious, unexpected, and suspected to be related to the investigational drug— experienced by patients during treatment under CU/ EA programs.1 Such reports, it is feared, will damage the future of the drug, particularly since adverse events may not be related to the experimental drug and patients taking such drugs are typically sicker than the average patient.2 Existing evidence, however, does not support the notion that such events jeopardize regulatory approval.” Click here to read the article in full.