Following a review process lasting almost four years, and culminating in several pieces of new European legislation, adjustments have been made to the European Union's (EU) regulatory framework for pharmaceuticals. The European Commission laid out its priorities for the review as: simplifying the authorisation system, ensuring a high quality of public health, completing the internal market in medicines, and preparing for the enlargement of the Union. Amongst the most important changes brought about by the new rules are those relating to the European drug approval procedures, the functions and operational transparency of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), and the EU's pharmacovigilance system. This article provides a brief examination of key elements of these changes, and considers the extent to which they serve the goal of improved public health protection within the EU
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