The Food and Drug Administration, beset by congressional criticism that it has contributed to big price spikes for generic drugs, announced Tuesday that it approved the most generic products in its history last year.

The FDA said it approved or issued a tentative approval for more than 700 drugs in 2015. GOP lawmakers have criticized the FDA's generic drug approval process, saying that the agency hasn't approved generics fast enough to foster competition and drive down prices.

The agency approved 580 generic products and gave tentative approval to 146 products. Tentative approval refers to generic applications that are submitted for approval before the patent or market exclusivity on a brand-name product expires.

That is more than fiscal 2013, when 440 drugs were approved and 95 received tentative approval.

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