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Duke researchers pitch pesticide development idea they say 'could save millions of lives'

Aug, 8 2017, 9:11 AM

Researchers at Duke University are offering a proposal that they say could "speed review" that has the potential to "promote a new generation of insecticides" to fight a variety of diseases and thus save millions of lives.

The proposal, "A Voucher System to Speed Review Could Promote a New Generation of Insecticides to Fight Vector-Borne Diseases," is to appear in the journal Health Affairs.

The journal's website says the article is not yet available for public viewing.

"It's about reducing inefficiency in the regulatory process, and using the gains to fix a market failure in product development to benefit society as a whole," said David Ridley, a professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and part of the team proposing a voucher reward for approving new insecticides through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Duke says that the proposal from Ridley and Jeffrey Moe of the Duke Global Health Institute is similar to one they proposed to the FDA 10 years ago to "encourage the development of treatments for tropical diseases."

"Congress made that proposal law in 2007. The FDA has issued 14 vouchers since that program began. They offer review of a drug in six months rather than the usual 10 months, which can make a huge difference to firms bringing a new product to market," Duke reports. "Seven of the vouchers issues so far have been sold, fetching as much as $350 million."

The proposal is called a vector expedited review voucher (or VERV) that the researchers say "would offer faster - though no less scientifically rigorous - review for any novel class of insecticide for public health use."





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