PHARMACEUTICALS: BALANCING ACT

CUTTING RED TAPE AT THE FDA HAS GIVEN A BIG BOOST TO AN AIDS-FIGHTING BIOTECH FIRM

The most cautious of the red-tape revolutions has been in the pharmaceutical industry--and with good reason. To be sure, speeding up the approval process at the Food and Drug Administration--where getting a new drug to market has often felt like swimming through Jell-O--is both a worthy and a popular cause. The appetite for free-market trial and error is limited, however, in a business where error has sometimes meant disfigurement or death. "There's a great push to try to cut down the FDA," says Fred Dorey of the Bay Area Bioscience Center in Oakland, Calif., a trade organization for biotechnology firms. "But...

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