The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has claimed that it is approving drugs faster than its counterparts in other countries.

The agency has approved some 35 medicines in the past year, citing the figure as the second highest in the past decade with 37 new drugs being approved in 2009.

Amongst the 35 approvals are two new treatments for hepatitis C, the first new lupus treatment in 50 years in Seattle Genetics’ Adcetris and Johnson & Johnson’s Zytiga, the first new treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 30 years.

The FDA also notes that it approved 24 of these medicines before any other country in the world, including the European Union, and included many treatments that represented important advances in patient care.