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Making a drug is a bit like baking — in the goopiest, messiest sense possible. Just ask Janet Woodcock, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

“We take the [inactive] and active [ingredients] and put them into a giant pot. It looks like a gigantic cake mixer. And then we … take that mush and we squeeze it out into a string and put it into tablets,” said Woodcock. “It’s a mess, it gets all over the place.”

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She added, “25 years from now, we’re going to look back and ask ourselves, ‘What were we doing?”’

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