Medicine: Go-Ahead for A Wonder Drug

After months of controversy, the Food and Drug Administration last week ended its ambivalent attitude toward a genetically engineered drug that dissolves blood clots. FDA Commissioner Frank Young announced that the agency had approved the use of tissue plasminogen activator, or t-PA, as an emergency treatment for heart attacks. The drug activates an enzyme that destroys fibrin, the protein that binds clots together. Arterial clotting is thought to be a factor in most of the 1.5 million heart attacks suffered annually in the U.S., so t-PA could save thousands of lives. With an injection of the drug, said Young, "the odds...

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