In market economies there exists ‘a perpetual tension between the freedoms conferred by the private ownership of productive property and the need to impose communal limits on the exercise of those freedoms’ (Hancher and Moran 1989a: 1). Regulation is a central way in which governments attempt to manage that tension. In pharmaceuticals, regulatory activity has implications for public health because much of it is concerned with the potential risks and benefits of drugs to patients. Scientific expertise plays a central role in the drug regulatory process.