A new National Institute of Medicine report says that the National Cancer Institute's Cooperative Group Program — a 50-year-old program that facilitates trials of new cancer treatments — is inefficient and lacks sufficient funding to continue operations as usual. John Mendelsohn of the MD Anderson Cancer Center told NPR's Richard Knox that the Cooperative Group Program is "at a breaking point," and that it "urgently needs changes across the board." Mendelsohn and 16 additional experts at IOM say that, in order to remain viable, the program's annual budget — currently $250 million — must double by 2015. "The panel also says it takes too long — two years on average — for the Cooperative Group to design, approve and launch a study," Knox writes. Katherine Hobson at the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog reports that IOM says the program should also "consolidate some administrative functions now handled by its 10 individual cooperative research groups and pay clinicians for designing and implementing the trials."
NCI's Cooperative Group Program Struggling to Subsist
Apr 16, 2010