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13 September 2002 News Update


A new generation of drugs that could revolutionise the treatment of cancer might never be made widely available because pharmaceutical companies find them too expensive to develop.

Scientific secretary of the Institute of Cancer Research in London, Keith Snell says although targeted therapy is the most promising development for many years, the huge cost of testing each potential drug might mean patients never benefit from them.

Early stages of safety testing and registration can cost up to $NZ 180 million, and only mass-market drugs could make profits big enough to recoup the costs.

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