Stockholm Seminar to Review Patient Access to Unapproved Drugs

Published March 21, 2008

One hundred leading European officials in health regulation, the pharmaceutical industry, and the health media will gather in Stockholm March 27 to discuss a new proposal that would enable patients to gain faster access to life-saving drugs not yet approved by regulators.

One track of this new proposal, known as “Dual Tracking,” provides that patients and their doctors try to minimize risk by using only approved drugs as they do now. On the other track, patients and doctors can choose not-yet-approved drugs that have passed safety trials. Patients would be able to balance their own preferences for risk with substantial new opportunities for health improvement.

In a Dual Tracking world, the demonstrated skill of biotechnology or pharmaceutical firms in developing breakthrough medical treatments becomes much more valuable than skill in navigating a drug regulatory bureaucracy, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Resource allocation improves. The country or region of the world that first implements Dual Tracking would reap not only substantial health benefits for patients, but unique improvements in its drug research industry.

Waldemar Ingdahl, founder of the Swedish think tank Eudoxa, will lead the Stockholm seminar luncheon.

“People who want to assume responsibility for their own medical decisions could put themselves and their doctors in control of their medical treatment and avoid the one-size-fits-all regulatory approach of government,” said Bart Madden, a Heartland Institute policy advisor in Naperville, IL and an outspoken proponent of Dual Tracking. “Those comfortable with using only government-approved drugs can simply ignore the new option. The opportunity to turbocharge innovation in drug development is enormous and compelling.”

For details on the seminar, go to

For information on Dual Tracking, contact Bart Madden at [email protected], or see Madden’s booklet More Choices, Better Health, available online at