FDA Deadlines May Impact Drug Safety - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

FDA Deadlines May Impact Drug Safety

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A new study suggests tight deadlines for approval of prescription drugs may not be such a good -- or safe -- idea.      

A Harvard professor found that drugs ok'd just before federal deadlines had a much higher rate of being withdrawn later or requiring serious safety warnings.

The rate was as high as four- to five-times higher.      

That's in contrast to drugs that are approved quickly -- presumably slam-dunks -- or those that use extra time and miss the deadline.

Critics have long complained that such deadlines could affect drug safety.      

Congress set strict Food and Drug Administration timelines to speed the arrival of new drugs.

The deadline for most drugs was tightened to 10 months in 1997.      

The Harvard analysis is published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.