(AP) - GLOOMY FORECAST: Fitch Ratings expects fewer new prescription drug approvals in the U.S. this year than the 30 last year. In 2012's first half, only 14 won approval, down from 18 in 2011's first half.
RESEARCH TRENDS: Fitch notes a slowdown in drugs entering late-stage testing, weak results ending research on three promising drugs, and regulators delaying approval of about 10 others amid problems.
MORE HEADACHES: Big brand-name drugmakers are being squeezed by the weak global economy, governments and health plans pushing for lower drug prices and a tidal wave of generic competition for top-selling drugs slashing sales by billions.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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