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Expand chart
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.

Go deeper

5 mins ago - Health

A safe, sane survival guide

Photo: Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We all know, it’s getting worse.

Reality check: Here are a few things every one of us can do to stay safe and sane in coming months:

Biden's debut nightmare

President-elect Biden speaks in Wilmington on Nov. 24. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

A dim, gloomy scene seems increasingly set for Joe Biden's debut as president.

The state of play: He'll address — virtually — a virus-weary nation, with record-high daily coronavirus deaths, a flu season near its peak, restaurants and small businesses shuttered by wintertime sickness and spread.

Using apps to prevent deadly police encounters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mobile phone apps are evolving in ways that can stop rather than simply document deadly police encounters with people of color — including notifying family and lawyers about potential violations in real time.

Why it matters: As states and cities face pressure to reform excessive force policies, apps that monitor police are becoming more interactive, gathering evidence against rogue officers as well as posting social media videos to shame the agencies.