Europe's London-based drugs regulator has warned pharmaceutical companies to expect some disruption when the Olympic Games hit the UK capital.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) plans to shift its committee meetings to national regulators' offices in other European countries, among them Norway, Germany and Malta.
The 2012 Olympic Games will run from July 27 to August 12, and on the event's busiest day, organisers expect 3m spectator journeys will be made in London, around 800,000 of them by public transport.
Anticipating the difficulties the games could cause, the EMA, whose Canary Wharf offices are less than four miles from the main Olympic stadium, has cancelled some committee meetings and plans to hold others virtually.
It is also using the opportunity to encourage companies to start using its eSubmission Gateway during the Olympic period to avoid hold-ups that could occur with sending CDs or DVDs by courier mail.
When it comes to any 'oral explanations' that would normally have been held at the EMA's London offices during this period, pharma companies may have to travel to venues in one of six other countries.
For meetings held outside the UK, the EMA says it will provide companies with detailed information on the arrangements in place, but warns that the host regulatory authorities have strict policies for allowing access to representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.
“Companies will need to supply lists of attendees in advance to the authority hosting the meeting, with only those representatives included on the list of attendees being permitted to enter the premises. Company representatives will need to be accompanied at all times,” the EMA said in a statement.
• More information on EMA meetings during the 2012 Olympic Games