Thursday, February 25, 2010

Statement from Margaret Anderson, Executive Director, FasterCures on the New NIH-FDA Partnership to Speed New Treatments to Patients

FasterCures applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health on launching an initiative that will fast-track the biomedical research and development process to deliver safe and effective treatments to patients sooner. This formalized effort to integrate and enhance two critical disciplines - translational science at the NIH and regulatory science at the FDA - that are fundamental to our medical research system, paves the way to an enterprise that will harness the promise of science and turn it into accessible medical solutions.

For all the human and financial capital flowing through our healthcare system, there remains a formidable list of diseases for which there are no cures or even meaningful treatment options. The coming together of the FDA and the NIH, complex entities with enormous priorities, to publicly commit to achieving a shared goal of “illuminating the pathway from microscope to marketplace,” is not only unprecedented, it is strategic, timely, and necessary to addressing patients' needs.

We believe that with Dr. Peggy Hamburg and Dr. Francis Collins at the helm of the newly created Joint Leadership Council, we will be able to actualize a more collaborative paradigm that will help connect the dots between discovery and development. We are pleased to see the initial resources to support this work, and hope that we will see additional funding carved out to strengthen and sustain this effort. And, we are delighted that the group is open to community input and look forward to participating in its first public meeting in the Spring.

This new initiative builds on some exemplary practices at FDA and NIH and is the first of many steps necessary to create an effective research enterprise focused on improving the lives of patients and their families. We congratulate Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Drs. Collins and Hamburg for their leadership and vision – Americans for generations to come will benefit from this remarkable endeavor.

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