Regulatory and financial challenges conspire to stall the development and market approval of breakthrough medical products. Inconsistent parameters are used to assess the safety and efficacy of Drugs, biologics, and devices; this glitch in the system introduces uncertainty, slows or blocks product approvals, and increases the costs of product development. Here, we consider how to balance the benefits and risks to the public in the assessment of innovative medical products. We also discuss the Institute of Medicine's recent report on the medical device approval process.
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