Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs
Frank Burroughs is president of the Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs, which has been moving forward over the past sixteen years to try and bring lifesaving treatments to tens of thousand of people years earlier than the current system allows.
Incorporated in the state of Virginia in November of 2001, the Alliance really started in early March of 2001 when Frank’s daughter, Abigail, who had just turned twenty-one, had run out of FDA approved options in her battle against head and neck cancer. There was a now approved investigation cancer drug that showed early safety and efficacy, and that had a very significant chance of saving her life. Abigail did not qualify for the strict protocol for the clinical trial. Three and a half years after the death of Abigail, the drug was finally approved for colon cancer and four a half years later was finally approved for head and neck cancer.
The Abigail Alliance represents only the many in the “special interest group”: Patients fighting for their lives. The Abigail Alliance does not take money from any special interest group, including the pharmaceutical industry. Frank and the very knowledgeable Abigail Alliance cofounder, Steve Walker, have solved the problem of how to save tens of thousands of lives; much earlier approval of promising investigational drugs for serious life-threatening illnesses, with modern designed clinical trials running in parallel.
Frank and the Abigail Alliance keep getting the word out that of the top ten most widely used cancer drugs five are drugs the Abigail Alliance sadly unsuccessfully failed to get earlier approval of. (Two of the ten were approved before the Abigail Alliance existed.) The other main message from the Abigail Alliance is that the vast majority of Americans want earlier access/approval of lifesaving drugs. This is so clearly reflected in the national Right to Try legislation that has so far passed in 100% of states where introduced and by, on average, a 98% yes vote!
Frank brings his years of related education and background to his position. Frank spent over thirty years in the engineering business particularly in leadership and managerial roles. Frank’s education in engineering combined with a B.A. degree from The American University in Mass Communications is serving the Abigail Alliance well.
On June 20, 2001, only eleven days after Abigail’s death, Frank testified at a House Government Reform Committee hearing on expanded access and compassionate use. Frank was asked by Chairman Representative Dan Burton as to whether he was mad at the pharmaceutical companies. Frank’s reply was, "We do not need any enemies regarding better access to developmental life saving drugs. We need the help of the pharmaceutical industry, the U.S. Government, and others to help solve this problem".