The California pharmaceutical company BioMarin makes one version of these drugs called BMN 673. Earlier this year, the company presented very early data on this experimental drug at a large cancer conference. Initial results in women with breast and ovarian cancer were encouraging.
Sloan says there are doses of BMN 673 sitting on shelves in the same hospital where she's seeking treatment: M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
But she's not getting the treatment because the company is refusing to give it to her. That's because this drug she wants is still in clinical trials, and the company says hasn't been proven effective.
BioMarin points out that to date their drug has been tested in fewer than 30 patients with ovarian cancer like Sloan.
"It would be unethical and reckless to provide end-stage refractory ovarian cancer patients outside a clinical trial with BMN 673 at this early stage of development," says company spokesperson Debra Charlesworth.
This seems to me to be a no brainer. She is dying, so why not give her the drug. Seems like the perfect clinical trial. If it works, the company can say the drug helped cure her cancer. If it doesn't, they can continue with their clinical trials. Its not going to hurt their bottom line, and if it works, it might help their bottom line tremendously. Any publicity from it not working will be mild at worst. To me, this seems like a no loss scenario for the drug company.
So anyone have any thoughts on why they might deny the treatment other than the alien overlords refused to allow it?