More than two years after Merck (MRK) pulled its Vioxx painkiller from shelves over heart attack and stroke risks, worries about drug safety continue to propel policy at the Food & Drug Administration. This is causing headaches for pharma companies that need to get new, revenue-boosting products on the market quickly. And the tenser climate could eventually lead to tougher regulations about how companies monitor the safety of their drugs once they hit the market.
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