The Lung Cancer Alliance applauded a recent court decision on the rights of terminally ill cancer patients to take experimental drugs. In 2003, The Abigail Alliance and the Washington Legal Foundation filed suit against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to give terminally ill cancer patients access to drugs that have passed initial safety tests but not the full regalia of clinical trials normally required for approval. The DC District Court dismissed the case in 2004, but the DC Appeals Court panel has overturned that ruling in a 2-1 decision, and declared the case must be heard by the lower court.
"In essence, the DC District Court of Appeals said the rights of terminally ill cancer patients must be protected and not dismissed lightlyand we completely agree," said Laurie Fenton, president of the Lung Cancer Alliance.
"This issue is extremely complicated and cannot be resolved unless all partiesthe medical community, the regulatory agencies, the drug development and research communities, and patient advocatesare willing to work together creatively and constructively to address the needs of dying patients," Fenton said.