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Renewal Proposed for Pediatric Disease Drug Approval Program

The U.S. Senate is considering a proposal to extend a program that offers vouchers for fast-tracking FDA approval of drugs for rare pediatric diseases. Initially introduced in 2012, the program is set to expire soon, but Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) are advocating for a decade-long renewal. This extension is intended to provide more stability for pharmaceutical companies, encouraging them to develop new treatments for these diseases, which often have limited options.

Currently, only 5% of rare pediatric diseases, defined as serious conditions affecting under 200,000 U.S. patients, have approved treatments. The voucher system reduces the FDA approval process from 10 months to six, facilitating quicker patient access to new drugs. This accelerated approval has proven financially beneficial for drug companies, with most vouchers sold averaging $100 million each. Despite these benefits, the Government Accountability Office reports no increase in drug development due to the program, though it does help advance more drugs through clinical trials.


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Vincel was a modest man who enjoyed music, playing guitar, watching westerns, football, and being in the great outdoors.

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The Franklin County Free Press, established by Vicky Taylor in 2019, emerged as a beacon of local journalism for the residents of Franklin County. Under Vicky's leadership, it quickly became an essential source of news, particularly at a time when major newspaper publications were increasingly overlooking local coverage.

On January 1, 2022, the torch was passed to Nathan Neil and his firm, Neil Publishing, LLC. Neil, a local entrepreneur with multiple thriving businesses in Chambersburg, shares Vicky's fervent commitment to both the community and the world of local journalism.

Rooted in the heart of Franklin County and powered by its residents, the Franklin County Free Press continues to bridge the gap, ensuring that the local stories, events, and issues that matter most to the community remain in the spotlight.