Today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Health approved language aimed at spurring treatments for rare pediatric diseases -- including cancer -- during a markup of legislation to reauthorize various Food and Drug Administration (FDA) user fee programs for prescription drugs and medical devices.
The provision grants qualifying innovator companies an incentive to bring new treatments for pediatric diseases to market by expanding the FDA's priority review voucher program. This program currently allows a company that develops a treatment for a neglected disease to receive priority review status for another treatment, meaning that the company is better able to get a new treatment to market quickly once the FDA has assured safety and efficacy. The provision approved by the Health Subcommittee is based on The Creating Hope Act (HR 3059), a bill that aims to stimulate the creation of treatments for rare pediatric diseases.
"No parent should have to hear that treatment options for their child are limited because the market for such treatments is too small," said Energy and Commerce Vice Chairman Sue Myrick, a long time champion of medical treatments for children. "The bill passed out of the Subcommittee today gives companies an added incentive to create these much-need treatments at no cost to taxpayers, and has the potential to save lives in the process. I am proud to have worked on this widely supported and bipartisan initiative, and look forward to its passage in the House".