Beefed-Up R&D Slows Drug Approval

Just 19 new meds cleared FDA in 2007
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2008 5:45 PM CST
GlaxoSmithKline had two drugs approved by the FDA in 2007 -- tied with one other company for the most.    (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The FDA approved only 19 new drugs in 2007, the lowest total in 24 years. Bloomberg takes a look at the reasons. Some drug companies accuse the FDA of setting the bar higher for drug approvals, a charge the agency denies. Many, however, say the issue lies with big pharma devoting more attention to developing existing products than to creating new drugs.

"They got away from their core mission, which was to bring new medicines and new treatments to market,'' one expert says of the FDA. On the bright side, the drug companies are returning to a greater focus on new research, which should make next year a better one for new treatments.