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DRUG BUREAU CHIEF DEFENDS FDA ON PAYOFFS

The head of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said July 11 that generic drug companies are partly to blame for a payoff scandal in his agency. After 1984 reforms made it easier to put generic drugs on the market, ``many generic drug companies did not hesitate to exert tremendous pressure on FDA drug reviewers,'' FDA Commissioner Frank Young told a House subcommittee.

A year-long federal grand jury probe has so far led to charges of criminal wrongdoing against three FDA employees and three generic drug company executives.

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