New Bill Could Modernize Drug Evaluations for Mesothelioma

A new bill authored by U.S. Representative Leonard Lance, R-N.J., would establish a new system to review applications for drug diagnostic processes, with the hopes that streamlining these processes will make treatments more readily accessible to patients with rare diseases - including mesothelioma.

MODDERN Cures Act

Representative Lance's "Modernizing Our Drug and Diagnostics Evaluation and Regulatory Network Cures Act of 2011," or MODDERN Cures Act, would establish a new council in the Health and Human Services Administration to receive and review applications for streamlined treatment evaluations that would give patients of rare diseases faster access to a better selection of drugs.

The MODDERN Care Act would require the new council to standardize the key concepts and definitions used in drug diagnostic tools, taking into consideration patient care as well as care and insurance costs. The council's decision would be informed by input from doctors, patients and drug researchers.

The bill also explains that although the U.S. spends $80 billion on drug research and development, many rare diseases still lack adequate drug treatments. The bill explains how the diagnostic approval process is full of obstacles and disincentives, forcing companies to cease developing drugs for the 7,000 rare disorders that plague 30 million Americans.

For patients of rare diseases, the MODDERN Care Act may help foster the development of new drugs and provide faster access for patients - patients such as Bonnie Anderson, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after an original misdiagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. Her doctors realized their mistake when they discovered Anderson had been exposed to asbestos for years through her husband's laundry.

Mesothelioma patients like Anderson would benefit from the provisions of the MODDERN Care Act, especially if new treatments were identified and developed for patients of this rare cancer.

Unfortunately, these new treatments will not prevent victims from being exposed to asbestos in the first place. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma after years of asbestos exposure, please consult an experienced mesothelioma attorney.