MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — WKRG News 5’s Devon Walsh sits down with Pharmacist Tiffany Mitchem with the Southern Cancer Center to discuss the lifecycle of a drug.

Below are some commonly asked questions:

  1. Walk us through the first steps of developing a new cancer drug, the “lab phase”.
    1. Who is studying the new drug?
    2. How do they determine if it is successful?
  2. Walk us through the steps of a clinical trial.
    1. What is the testing process like?
    2. Who are the subjects the new drug is typically tested on?
  3. FDA Approval
    1. What is this approval process like/ When is a drug deemed “ready” for approval?
    2. How long can this approval process take?
    3. Is it possible to get a treatment that isn’t FDA approved?
    4. Once a drug is approved, is that it? Or does the research continue to see if it could be used for other cancer types?
    5. Are drugs being approved faster today than 10+ years ago?
    6. How long after approval are patients able to start these new drugs?
    7. Is the cancer drug approval process different than non-cancer drugs?
  4. Future of Drugs
    1. How has cancer treatment changed with new drug discovery?
    2. How has COVID affected the process of drug development?
    3. What is the difference between an “accelerated approval” used by cancer drugs and the “emergency use authorization” used to fast-track the COVID vaccine?

The development and approval process of a drug has been the topic of much discussion lately because of the attention that has surrounded the release of the COVID-19 vaccine. Southern Cancer Center’s Director of Pharmacy, Tiffany Mitchem, Pharm.D, is here to shine some light on this subject and discuss how cancer drugs journey from scientists in a lab and into the hands of a patient.

Watch the Facebook live above for more information.