The FDA is the final authority on approving drugs and full approval for drugs can take up to a dozen years. Nivolumab is expected to finish third stage trials and receive approval in twelve to eighteen months. So how can this drug be made available to those who need it now? Back in the 1980s/90s Aids activists fought for greater access to drugs under trial and following protracted battles, life saving drugs were distributed to many who needed them as trials were ongoing.
Nivolumab has great potential in the treatment of other cancers including triple negative breast cancer. Many of those dealing with advanced cancer will be dead by the time Nivolumab attains approval. It is time for the friends, families and sufferers to mobilise and force the wider use of this breakthrough drug, to make it available to those who need it now. It remains to be seen if Social Media can impose common sense and humanity on what is, for most, an ultimately fatal nightmare.