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Most new anti-cancer drugs have not proven effective

More than half of new cancer medicines marketed in the European Union between 2009 and 2013 have not demonstrated that they improve the survival or quality of life of patients, according to a study released on Thursday.

Such a situation "can harm patients and cause significant waste of public resources" and "raises serious questions about current standards for drug regulation," concluded the team of public health specialists at King's College London and the London School of Economics.

During the five years studied, 48 new anticancer drugs have received marketing authorization from the European Medicines Agency, in 68 different indications.

On these 68 new treatments, 39 (ie 57%) received the green light from the European regulator without demonstrating an improvement in the lifetime or quality of life of the patients compared to the existing treatments, interest of a new drug, according to the study, published in the British journal The British Medical Journal.

Many were allowed on the basis of too preliminary results to conclude a benefit on the patient, analyze the researchers.

And even for life-long studies, "they were often marginal," they add.

Asked by AFP, the European Medicines Agency stressed that it has "widely discussed evidence supporting anticancer drugs" and be open to any "new debate" on the subject.

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The A3P Association is a major player in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.
Created in 1986, it contributes to the good development of the production of medicines and clean and sterile equipment, it runs a network of professionals 21 000, manufacturers and suppliers, as part of International Congress and technical days.

It now has over 1700 members who share their technical experience, scientific and regulatory.

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