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Data: Evaluate; Chart: Axios Visuals

Outgoing Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb presided over 2 years of relative leniency toward novel drug therapies, according to an Evaluate analysis.

Why it matters: While this was good for investors and drug companies, the impact on patients isn't yet clear. Most of these experimental approvals were for cancer drugs, which can get approved quickly for end-of-life care when a patient is out of options.

Details: In 2017 and 2018, there were record numbers of accelerated drug approvals based on early signs that the drug was effective, rather than the full approval process.

  • Most of these accelerated approvals were based on information from small clinical trials, without concrete evidence of drugs' effectiveness, Evaluate notes.
  • And most of these approvals have not yet been converted into full approvals based on more rigorous conditions.
  • "Mr. Gottlieb was considered a friendly face by drug developers and investors, a safe pair of hands in an administration rife with unpredictability," the authors of the analysis write.

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SPACs are the new IPOs

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Why it matters: This is the largest special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger, and also includes the largest private investment in public equity (PIPE) associated with a SPAC. Existing Multiplan owners like Hellman & Friedman and General Atlantic will roll over more than 75% of their collective stake, and own over 60% of the public company.

Washington Redskins will change team name

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins announced Monday that the NFL team plans to change its name.

Why it matters: It brings an end to decades of debate around the name — considered by many to be racist toward Native Americans. The change was jumpstarted by nationwide protests against systemic racism in the U.S. this summer.