`Success' Takes On A New Meaning At The Fda

To get drugs to market faster, the Food & Drug Administration has been moving toward a policy of not waiting until companies can prove that treatments for fatal diseases, such as cancer or AIDS, keep people alive longer. Instead, the agency would accept a degree of efficacy measured in "surrogate endpoints," biochemical changes that should result in increased survival rates. For AIDS, the surrogate endpoints would include higher T-cell counts or lower virus levels; for cancer, tumor shrinkage or slower spread of cancer cells.

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