Obtaining authorisations for new medicines in Europe can be a bureaucratic nightmare, especially when seeking approval across several countries. In 1995, the European Medicines Agency (emea) was formed with the aim of reducing red tape and helping drug manufacturers cope with the differing regulations of the (now 27) eu member states. Grainger Laffan talked to Dr David Mackay, head of the veterinary medicines and inspections unit of the emea, at his office in Canary Wharf in London, where this practising veterinary surgeon turned researcher, turned government agency executive, has headed the unit for the past two years and is seeking new ways to streamline the authorisation process.
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