Monday, January 25, 2010

FDA unveils first phase of Transparency Initiative

FDA Basics aims to help consumers gain better understanding of agency

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today unveiled the first phase of its Transparency Initiative which is designed to explain agency operations, how it makes decisions, and the drug approval process.

During an online presentation, the chair of the FDA’s Transparency Task Force, Principal Deputy FDA Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein, described a Web-based curriculum called “FDA Basics,” aimed at helping the public better understand what the agency does. The curriculum is accessible via a link on the FDA Web site.

The curriculum includes:

* Questions and answers about the agency and the products it regulates
* Short videos that explain various agency activities
* Conversations with agency personnel about the work of their office

In addition, senior officials from FDA product centers and offices will answer questions on various topics during future online sessions. Each of these sessions will be announced on the FDA Web site.

In one of her first acts after assuming the office last spring, FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. announced the formation of an internal task force to develop recommendations for enhancing the transparency of the FDA’s operations and decision-making processes.

The Transparency Initiative was launched in response to the Obama Administration’s commitment to an unprecedented level of openness in Government and with the strong support of the Department of Health and Human Services.

“This initiative will make information about the FDA more user-friendly and accessible to the public,” said Dr. Hamburg. “It fosters a better understanding about what we do.”

“The launch of FDA Basicsis our first step towards making FDA a more transparent agency,” said Dr. Sharfstein.


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