New program to give more cancer patients access to experimental treatments

U.S. drug regulators are launching a project to give more cancer patients a chance to try experimental drugs.

Thousands of gravely ill cancer patients each year seek 'compassionate use' access to treatments not yet on the market but have shown some promise in early testing.

Now the government wants to make this easier.

'Project Facilitate' was announced Monday and will offer a concierge service to physicians that are requesting drugs that fall under the program.

Instead of making doctors plead their case first to companies and then to the FDA if the company agrees to provide the drug, the FDA will become the initial step and will assign a staffer to quickly do the paperwork.

That way, when a company gets a request, it knows the FDA already considers it appropriate.

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