This point has been made here but the media seems to miss it. The primary endpoint is a marker for dystrophin. There's no placebo effect for biochemical response to treatment. The 6 minute walk test is a secondary end point. Each boy in the test serves as his own control. A decine in the rate of decay at the stage of disease chosen for the study would be a positive outcome. This is a progressively debilitating disease. A placebo effect, i.e. psycho-biological improvement, cannot be sustained in the face of progressive muscle wasting. This isn't a headache pill.
Also the truncated dystrophin produced by restoring the reading frame produces a protein that carries a highly variable degree of muscle impairment. It is expected that some patients will not benefit greatly, perhaps slowing progression, or won't benefit at all. Others are expected to see dramatic improvement. So far no evidence has shown that the drug made boys worse. Early approval is for the boys that might go from riding a wheelchair to playing soccer by taking it. These same boys can look forward to spinal fusion, and ventilator dependency without it.
You imply rational, logical thought by "the media" but "the media isn't a single thinking thing. It is a set of corrupt individuals, writing articles to increase their own financial position, by distorting the facts to manipulate the share price, so their put options make them a money.
They don't care about how many patients die or are harmed, they just want to make a fast buck.
Chris said the termination of the placebo segment was done because the DMD community would demand it. The FDA was working with Sarepta on the trial design so they must have been on board with it. I think your point about not being able to fake dystrophin may have been a basis for this. They had a measure of decline and they would have a measure of dystrophin production for this group. The phony experts who have been criticizing the change are biased and may not really believe what they are saying.