Wednesday, September 5, 2012 | Categories: Episodes
(Philippe Hueguen/AFP/Getty Images)
We requested an interview with Bristol-Myers Squibb. They sent a statement. Here is an exerpt which says in part:
"We take very seriously our commitment to rapidly and responsibly develop cancer medicines for patients with unmet medical need. We believe this is best accomplished through the conduct of carefully controlled clinical trials in order to establish the benefit and risk of investigational compounds, and by working with health authorities to successfully register these medicines utilizing data from the trials to make them broadly available to patients."
Experimental Drugs for Terminal Patients - Northern Medical Society
Many know the desperation of Darcy Doherty's search. Holly Hill in B.C. was only 34-years old when she died of complications from stomach cancer in May. At the time she was trying an experimental -- and unapproved -- vaccine treatment from her oncologist - Dr. Suresh Kattakar.
A physician with three decades of experience, Dr. Kattakar was hired as chief oncologist at Cancer Centre for the North, in Prince George BC. He was also named the regional professional practice leader for the BC Cancer Agency in January of 2011.
But when the provincial Cancer Agency learned Dr. Kattakar was administering an "unproven therapy" it suspended the oncologist, and began to investigate. Soon afterwards, Dr. Kattakar resigned his post and left Canada. In a resignation letter, he admitted he knew that the decision to treat Holly Hill was "legally wrong," but that he felt he had a "moral obligation" to do it.
Bert Kelly was a colleague of Suresh Kattakar's. He was Holly Hill's general practitioner and is also executive director of the Northern Medical Society. He is in Prince George.
The president of the B.C. Cancer Agency, Dr. Max Coppes, says there's an ongoing investigation into serious concerns about Dr. Kattakar's practice. The preliminary review suggests he did not follow established protocols.
Experimental Drugs for Terminal Patients - U Of Manitoba, Applied Ethics
Other segments from today's show: