When waiting is not an option
It takes eight years on average for a drug to receive approval from America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after clinical trials have been successfully completed. Some patients of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), with a life expectancy of two to five years after diagnosis, do not want to wait that long. Since September 2011 some of those diagnosed with the fatal disease have taken to injecting themselves with a substance whose chemical identity they deduced from published literature, and which they claim is currently being clinically tested.
When waiting is not an option, The Economist’s Babbage blog, 13 May 2012.
A list of main references for the article is here. Image credit: The Economist