FDA drug approvals are down; excess caution plays a part

WASHINGTON The FDA was reported last week as only approving 38 new drugs through July of this year, down 31 percent from this point last year, according to CNNMoney.com.

There are a couple of reasons for the lack of approvals: one is that, "The FDA has been pretty much playing defense since 2004," according to James Kumpel, analyst for Friedman, Billings, and Ramsey. Another reason is that the "pipelines" at drug companies are running dry, according to Fran Hawthorne, author of "Inside the FDA."

The FDA argues that they have not changed their standards for approving drugs and that, "each application is reviewed on its own merit," said Susan Cruzan, FDA spokesperson.

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