Moderator of the session at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Virtual Oncology Policy Summit, Clifford Goodman, PhD, Senior Vice President at The Lewin Group, said he was struck by the diverse impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic had on cancer care. One area that remained relatively unaffected, however, was the launch of new oncology drugs.
Clifford Goodman, PhD
Dr. Goodman noted that more than a third of all new drug approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2020 were in oncology, and that scientific advances and market factors indicate a robust new oncology drug pipeline for 2021. He added that, of the 53 new drugs approved by the FDA in 2020, 31 were for rare or “orphan” diseases, many of which were for rare cancers. On the other hand, he highlighted Dr. Aitken’s data showing that the growth in the use of oncology medicines overall declined in 2020.
“The pipeline of late-stage and early-stage cancer drugs continues to expand and has never been greater than it is now,” Mr. Aitken added. “From the perspective of innovation, there was remarkably little disruption in 2020.”
DISCLOSURE: Dr. Goodman is employed by The Lewin Group, a unit of Optum; and has been reimbursed for travel, accommodations, or other expenses by AbbVie, Alkermes, Amgen, Bayer, BioMarin, bluebird bio, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Illumina, Janssen, Lilly, Medtronic, Merck, and Roche.
From a dramatic drop in caseloads to missed screenings and diagnoses as well as the emergence of telemedicine, COVID-19 turned the world of oncology upside down. During the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Virtual Oncology Policy Summit, “Defining the ‘New Normal’ 2021 and the State of...