Big R&D investment, but little payoff for drug firms last year

01/11/2006 | NYTimes.com

Despite a $38 billion investment in drug development last year, drug companies saw just 20 new drugs approved by the FDA, down from 36 in 2004. Medical researchers reported significant progress in their search for new treatments, but advances in laboratories have not yet translated into the development and marketing of new drugs. The FDA is looking for ways to speed approvals of new drugs, but consumer groups and some members of Congress are pushing for more testing before drugs are approved.

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