Monday, July 9, 2012

The Creating Hope Act of 2011 Update

I previously wrote about the Creating Hope Act which provides incentives for pharmaceuticals to research and develop drugs for children’s diseases.  In recent weeks, the House of Representatives and the Senate both passed the Creating Hope Act (as part of a larger bill – the FDA Reauthorization Package), and finally today, President Obama signed the act into law!

So as I mentioned, the Creating Hope Act provides incentives for these drug companies to develop drugs that specifically target diseases in children. These incentives come in the form of vouchers that allow the drug companies to fast-track any other drug the company makes for FDA approval. By fast-tracking the approval process for these other drugs, a company can get drugs to market faster, thus generating revenue sooner (estimates are that a voucher could earn hundreds of millions of dollars).

It’s sad that companies need incentive to save our kids, but that’s the reality of the situation.  Pediatric cancers make up a relatively small percentage of all cancers, so pharmaceuticals can treat more people by targeting adults, which of course means more money.  Again, it’s sad, but that’s the reality.

For a nice, plain-English description of the act, visit the Kids V. Cancer web site, which is a site started by a mother who lost her son to cancer. (  Also feel free to stop by the Kids V. Cancer Facebook page (!/kidsvcancer) to give them some encouragement in continuing to be advocates for our children in Washington.

So this is the first step.  The next step is for these companies to start working on these drugs.

Here’s a picture of the family relaxing in the pool on our recent long weekend in Maine.  Isabella really enjoyed floating around in the pool, even when an afternoon shower came through the area.