OVER THE PAST several months, the ASCO in Action Podcast has secured exclusive interviews with high-ranking officials to discuss health policy issues affecting the United States.
In March, the Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Norman E. Sharpless, MD, joined ASCO Chief Executive Officer Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO, on the podcast. They discussed modernizing clinical trials, maximizing big data, building the cancer research workforce, and NCI’s central role in leading cancer research.
Dr. Sharpless also spoke to the awe-inspiring and somewhat daunting scale and scope of the NCI. On a more personal note, Dr. Sharpless shared why he lives to conquer cancer. He explained that he is driven by an intellectual curiosity to cure cancer, direct experience as a medical oncologist treating patients, and by family members who have had cancer.
In January, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, joined Dr. Hudis on the podcast to discuss FDA efforts to modernize clinical trials, improve the expanded access program, reduce drug prices, and expedite the drug development process.
During the discussion, Dr. Gottlieb said advances in technology and new highly targeted drug therapies are fundamentally changing how the FDA regulates products, and touched on new drugs that are so well-targeted that they are moved through the FDA pipeline much more efficiently. “Across the board, we’re seeing technological inflection points…that are not only creating significant new opportunities,” he said, “but compelling the agency to rethink its traditional approach to regulation in order to accommodate opportunities.”
These and other episodes of the ASCO in Action Podcast are available for download on Apple Podcasts and Google Play. You can also listen online at action.ascou.libsynpro.com. To stay on top of the latest cancer policy news, visit asco.org/asco-in-action. ■
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