July 11, 2012, Washington, DC – President Obama signed into law The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), S. 3187, bipartisan legislation that will spur the development of lifesaving treatments for 30 million Americans suffering from rare diseases. “We are thrilled the language to improve access to the FDA’s Accelerated Approval pathway for rare diseases has been included in FDASIA,” said Emil Kakkis, MD, President, EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases. “We wish to thank Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Ed Towns (D-NY) for being champions for the rare disease community.”
Stearns and Towns first introduced Unlocking Lifesaving Treatments for Rare Diseases Act (ULTRA) to empower FDA to use all the science available for allowing surrogate endpoints in clinical trials for rare diseases to determine whether a drug is working, significantly decreasing the development time and cost. Stearns and Towns later introduced Faster Access to Specialized Treatments (FAST) Act that improved Accelerated Approval for life-threatening diseases while maintaining high safety and efficacy standards.