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Faster Approval

China has announced changes to its drug-approval process that would enable companies to bring their products to the market more quickly, according to Nature News.

One new provision would allow pharmaceutical companies to use clinical trial data gathered in other countries when applying for approval, it says, noting that companies currently have to perform additional tests in China. This change would save pharmaceutical companies time and money, as well as speed up the time it takes to get new drugs to the Chinese population, Nature News reports.

It adds that the policy change also hopes to spur innovation and expand the pharmaceutical industry in China. At the same time, it plans to bring China's drug regulation in line with international standards.

"Overall they are in the right direction to become more aligned with international norms and to promote new drug R&D and access," Su Ling, director of the Institute of Drug Regulatory Science at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University and a venture partner for the investment fund Lilly Asia Ventures, tells Nature News. "This is really important."

Nature News adds that the new policies are expected to take effect by the end of the year.

The Scan

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A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

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