Cheap Anticancer Drugs Are Ignored

Why? They don't make pharmeceutical companies enough money
By NewsDude ,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2007 9:51 PM CDT
Johns Hopkins Hospital Continues Cancer Research And Treatment    (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Ralph Moss writes about why inexpensive cancer treatments get no research dollars. The publisher of a newsletter that covers both conventional and alternative cancer therapies, Moss blames the inability to patent already discovered and available chemicals and drugs for the situation.

Researchers exploring several promising substances, including 3-bromopyruvate, dichloroacetate, and melatonin ($6.99 for 60 pills at Walgreen's) cannot get funding.  Moss urges the expansion of the FDA's "orphan drug" program, which subsidizes unprofitable drugs, to cover low-cost anticancer drugs. And he concludes, "We need to foster a research and development environment in which anticancer activity is the main criterion for new drug development."