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The term B.C. took on a new meaning — Before Covid — last year when almost everything we knew changed. Among those changes is the way health care research and development are being conducted after the way Covid-19 vaccines were developed and brought to market.

While it’s true that a good deal of research on the use of mRNA technology — the secret sauce in two of the Covid-19 vaccines authorized so far in the U.S. — is more than a decade old, the speed with which those vaccines were developed and authorized for widespread use was unprecedented.


Although the Covid-19 vaccines are an exceptional case — we just couldn’t afford to wait the average five to seven years usually needed for vaccine approval — the Food and Drug Administration’s quick action was a harbinger of things to come. Much of the future of medicine is based on advanced technology, including genetic and digital technologies, and the FDA has been developing the rules on how these can be brought to market.

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