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INFOGRAPHIC //

Drug Approval Decoded

The Food and Drug Administration has been alternately lauded as a protector and dismissed as outmoded. Here's how a drug makes its way through FDA approval.

Spring 2006
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A goat and a godsend. Over the years, the Food and Drug Administration has been characterized as both—praised for protecting consumers, condemned for preventing lifesaving drugs from reaching the market quickly. But all drugs carry risks as well as benefits, the FDA points out, and finding an acceptable balance between the two is challenging. The agency requires the vast majority of drugs to make their way through its standard approval process, but the FDA also has several options for hastening approval. Here’s how it all works.

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