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The Food and Drug Administration is going to let private firms decide whether certain medical devices are safe and effective enough for patients. The White House today announced a package of FDA reforms geared to save the industry $500 million a year. They are expected to start in early 1996 with a two-year pilot program permitting private companies to review low-risk devices such as cholesterol tests. The manufacturers would pay for the reviews and the agency could overrule them.TIME Washington correspondent Dick Thompsonsays the FDA cautiously selected devices to be tested privately, based on similar testing systems already in place in Europe.