Tragically, only about half of the children who received treatment for pediatric leukemia at one New Mexico hospital from 1989 to 1997 were still alive after five years. That survival rate compared dismally with a national average of 75 percent.
The Houston Chronicle (7/6, Powell) reports, "Legislation by Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, soon to be signed by President Barack Obama, will offer drug companies multimillion-dollar incentives to pioneer medications for rare childhood diseases that afflict too few kids to make a profit." The bill "is meant to remedy a chronic mismatch in which the FDA has approved dozens of new drugs to combat adult cancers since 1980 - and only one for the treatment of childhood cancer." According to the Chronicle, "In return for developing drugs for the small and unprofitable market of rare childhood diseases, cooperating pharmaceutical manufacturers could earn vouchers for faster Food and Drug Administration approval of new and potentially more profitable drugs."