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Little Bit Slower Now

Drug approvals in the US are at a six-year low, Reuters reports. It traces the lull to a slowdown in the pharmaceutical industry, among other factors.

In the past year, the Food and Drug Administration approved 22 new drugs, down from 45 in 2015, Reuters reports. It adds that the European Medicines Agency approved 81 new drugs in 2016, compared to 93 in 2015. Reuters notes that the EMA's list includes generics while the FDA's does not.

John Jenkins, from FDA's director of the office of new drugs, says there are a few factors that play into this lower approval rate for 2016. First, he notes that five drugs that had been on track to be approved this past year received approval earlier than expected, in 2015. At the same time, Jenkins says there was a decrease in filings for approvals and an uptick in application rejected or delayed by FDA. Some of those, Reuters notes, will likely go on to be approved in the coming year.

Still, this indicates to Reuters that the pharmaceutical industry may be coming down from its high levels of approvals in 2014 and 2015 to previous activity levels.