LONDON, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) — Almost 57 % of malignancy drugs certified by the European Medicines Company (EMA) between 2003 and 2009 arrived the marketplace with no clear evidence they improved the product quality or quantity of patients’ lives, relating to a report released on Thursday by King’s College London.

A team led by experts from King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science conducted the analysis.

They discovered that most cancer drugs were approved by the EMA only using surrogate measures which, although indicators, weren’t strong predictors of survival — whether living or feeling better longer.

“We evaluated the database for new drugs getting into the market more than a five year period and found that almost all came the market without clear evidence that they improved patients’ survival or standard of living,” said Dr. Courtney Davis from King’s College London.

When expensive drugs that absence robust proof clinical benefit were approved and reimbursed within publicly funded health care systems, individual patients may be harmed and public funds wasted, said Davis.

The team also discovered that even after a median follow-up of five years, 49 % of the drugs still showed no quality or level of life benefit and of those that did, these benefits were judged to be clinically insignificant around 50 % of that time period.

As a total result of these results, the experts called on the EMA to increase its proof bar for the marketplace authorization of new drugs.


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