Friday Jun 30, 2023

Talk Evidence - post pandemic pruning, breast cancer screening, and orphan drugs

In this episode of Talk Evidence,  Helen Macdonald, Joe Ross, and Juan Franco are back to update us on what's happening in the world of medical evidence.

Firstly, the news about the end of the covid-19 pandemic was trumpeted, but the changes to research funding have been more quite - and the team discuss what this means for ongoing work to understand the effects of covid, but also in terms of preparedness for the next pandemic.

Next, breast cancer screening recommendations, in the USA, have been reduced from women over the age of 50, to those over the age of 40. We discuss the modelling study which lead to that recommendation change, and what the consequence may be in terms of overdiagnosis.

Finally, 40 years ago, the U.S. Orphan Drug act was passed to encourage the development of treatments for rare conditions - but new research looks at how many clinically useful drugs have come onto market, and an analysis examines the way in which the system could be gamed by narrowing disease definitions to create small populations of patients.


Reading list

Is the UK losing its world leading covid surveillance network just when it needs it most?

Breast cancer: US recommends women start screening at 40

FDA approval, clinical trial evidence, efficacy, epidemiology, and price for non-orphan and ultra-rare, rare, and common orphan cancer drug indications



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