Heart Drug Approvals on the Wane, Study Says

September 15, 2017

Drugs to treat heart disease are taking a shrinking slice of the FDA approval pie, a Tufts University study says.

Developers seem to be shifting investments to other therapeutic areas, in part in response to lengthening development times and lower approval rates associated with cardiovascular products, according to study author Joseph DiMasi, director of economic analysis at the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

The average clinical development time for cardiovascular drugs lengthened by nearly two years in the period 2005-2010 compared to 1995-2000, and increased by another 7 percent in 2010-2016, the study said.

In the 1980s, heart medications accounted for 27 percent of all new drug approvals in the U.S. — a share that dropped by more than half, to 13 percent, in 2010-2016. The average approval time for cardiovascular drugs was 17.5 months in 1999-2016, compared to 14.3 months for other drugs, the study found.

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