This weekly column offers opinions on the latest pharmaceutical industry news.

Imagine you are diagnosed tomorrow with pancreatic cancer. The latest medical odds would give you a 6 percent chance of surviving more than five years. But if your doctor said you had prostate cancer — a disease with many more treatment options — then the likelihood of being alive in five years would skyrocket to 99 percent.

Clearly, the medical need is greatest for pancreatic cancer. So, you’d think that our regulatory system would adjust the drug approval process to raise the possibility of bringing life-changing drugs to patients.

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