The U.S. FDA approved 22 new drugs in 2016, the lowest number since 2010 and sharply down on 2015's count of 45.
According to Reuters, it remains challenging to get new drugs through the approval process and to secure a significant financial return once they are launched.
Several factors led to the fall in the 2016 approval rate; notably, five new drugs that had been scheduled for approval in 2016 ended up winning an early approvals at the end of 2015.
There was also a decline in drugs being filed for approval and the FDA rejected or delayed more applications in 2016 than in the last two years.
Read the Reuters coverage