American Lung Association Applauds Volunteers and Advocates for Focusing FDA on Lung Cancer and Interstitial Lung Disease Treatments

Washington, D.C. (April 11, 2013)

Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to include lung cancer and interstitial lung disease in its Patient Focused Drug Development (PFDD) program. This program, instituted as part of the 2012 Prescription Drug User Fee Act, is a critical element in FDA’s efforts to improve patient care and treatment. For each disease area included in the PFDD, the FDA will conduct a public meeting to discuss the disease and its impact on patients' daily lives, the types of treatment benefits that matter most to patients, and patients' perspectives on the adequacy of available therapies.  

“We want to thank all our volunteers and advocates who answered the American Lung Association’s call to action to contact the FDA and share their stories about why lung cancer and other lung diseases should be a priority.

“Approximately 45 percent of comments received by FDA on this initiative were from American Lung Association volunteers and advocates. Thanks to these amazing efforts, lung cancer and interstitial lung disease, including pulmonary fibrosis, will be included in the PFDD program. We hope that FDA will include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the next round of PFDD diseases. We are also pleased that Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and pulmonary arterial hypertension are included in the FDA’s program. 

“Lung cancer receives far too little attention and focus.  Over 370,000 Americans are living with lung cancer.  During 2012, more than 226,000 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed – roughly 14 percent of all cancer diagnoses. It is the leading cause of cancer deaths, with a five year survival rate of only 16.3 percent.

“In 2009, there were 87,694 lung cancer deaths in men and 70,387 in women.  Although the number of deaths among men has plateaued, the number is still rising among women. African Americans are more likely to develop and die from lung cancer than persons of any other racial group.”

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About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.