FDA approvals relatively flat in 2009

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration approved 26 drugs in 2009, compared with 25 approvals in 2008.

According to research firm Washington Analysis, 2009 was the approval year of first-of-its-kind medicines, including such prescription medications as Novartis' skin cancer drug Afinitor and Effient, a blood thinner made by Eli Lilly & Co. and Daiichi-Sankyo.

During this same period, the FDA also added "black box" warning labels to 31 drugs.

In May 2009, Margaret Hamburg was confirmed as the new FDA commissioner, promising “to prevent harm to the American people” through “swift, aggressive and effective” enforcement of FDA laws and regulations.

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