How did every parent’s worst nightmare — the death of a child — spur the creation of an incentive system to turn making drugs for childhood cancer from a high-risk, low-reward gamble to a bet a company might make?

Before Nancy Goodman’s son, Jacob, died in 2009, there were only a few, old drugs at hand to treat him. After he died, she asked why.

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  • Great work, Luke and Meg. Like your other podcasts it’s smart and balanced.

    Here’s a small correction for wonky listeners wanting to dig into the details:

    In Episode 20 at 12:05: “being able to sell one of these things wasn’t a part of the original program.”
    In fact, the original law said “The sponsor of a tropical disease product that receives a priority review voucher under this section may transfer (including by sale) the entitlement to such voucher”. The problem was that FDA attorneys interpreted the law as allowing only one transfer. So company A could sell to company B but then B could not resell to C. We worked with Senators to get a 2014 amendment that allowed for unlimited transfers for tropical vouchers (the 2012 law allowed unlimited transfers only for pediatric vouchers).