Independent government commission charged by the legislature with setting and enforcing standards for specific industries in the private sector. The concept was invented by the U.S. government in 1887, and regulatory agencies exist almost exclusively in the U.S. The theory is that a commission of experts on the industry being regulated is better equipped to regulate it than the legislature or executive departments. Designed to operate with a minimum of executive or legislative supervision, agencies have executive, legislative, and judicial functions, and their regulations have the force of law. Important regulatory agencies include the Food and Drug Administration, OSHA, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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MHRA hosts and supports a number of expert advisory bodies, including the Commission on Human Medicine which replaced the Committee on the Safety of Medicines in 2005, and the British Pharmacopoeia Commission.
As part of the European system of approval, MHRA or other national bodies can be the rapporteur or co-rapporteur for any given pharmaceutical application, taking on the bulk of the verification work on behalf of all members, while the documents are still sent to other members as and where requested.