Monday, 21 December 2015

RI Tips: How to add an MHRA search engine to Google Chrome

In a recent posting on their website, the MHRA introduced three videos: Tips for finding MHRA content on GOV.UK. One of these videos shows how to use the website's search engine to find content.

In the following video, I will show you how to make repeated use of their search engine quicker by adding it as a search function in Google Chrome. This is especially useful if you are a frequent user of the MHRA website.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

RI Tips - Cleaning up messy data from regulatory agencies

From time to time I come across tools and techniques which I have found extremely valuable in getting to grips with the plethora of data sources needed for effective regulatory intelligence work. In this article, I introduce OpenRefine and how it can be usefully deployed to help clean up messy data published on regulatory agency websites.

In this example, I have provided a brief video demonstration of how to use OpenRefine to clean up ATC codes in the published list of registered human medicines on the EMA's website. To aid viewing the detail, you may find it helpful to view the video in full-screen mode, or directly from the YouTube site.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact me via the e-mail address in the video or via the comments on this blog.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Yahoo to discontinue Pipes service

In my article in Regulatory Rapporteur (Vol 9, No 7/8, July/August 2012) I eluded to Yahoo Pipes as a service which enables filtering and aggregation of regulatory data from the web. Yahoo Pipes was used to create the mash-up described in a previous article about RSS on this blog.

European regulatory news mash-up

Earlier this month, Yahoo announced that they will be retiring their Pipes service later this year. This will be a loss to those of us who have been using this service to good effect. However, there are other solutions which remain and can be used to perform similar functions. These are discussed in length elsewhere. The European regulatory news mashup mentioned in my previous article depends on the services of Yahoo Pipes and will not be re-created for public consumption when Yahoo Pipes is withdrawn.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Are you missing the old MHRA web site? (updated)

You have probably noticed that the MHRA have moved their web site from their dedicated site ( to be part of the UK government’s main site ( The MHRA’s new home page can be found at the following address.
However, it is still possible to see archived versions of the old web site (snapshots in time) dating from 2003 to January 2015 on the UK’s National Archives. Furthermore, there are archived versions of the predecessor site, for the Medicines Control Agency (MCA), dating back as far as 2002. Links to these archives are provided below.