24 new medicines obtained FDA clearance in 2008

The FDA granted clearance for 24 new medications last year, increasing from 18 in 2007 despite delays in some application reviews. Among the new FDA-approved treatments are GlaxoSmithKline's Promacta and Amgen's Nplate, which are both designed to boost platelet counts. The agency aims to evaluate about 90% of proposals on time this year after it added and trained more than 800 workers for its new-drug unit in 2008, an FDA official said.

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