A Transparent FDA

fda_darvon_090707_mnThe FDA’s Commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, launched the agency’s transparency initiative to make the FDA more open and transparent to the public. Components of this initiative have included two public meetings, an online blog and a docket.

Previous to these initiatives, the FDA was seen as a “black box” that made important decisions that impacted many people without explanations. The blog and docket now have more than 1,380 comments.

The FDA also has a web resource called “FDA Basics” that gives the public lots of information about the agency and how it works, such as the products it regulates. “FDA Basics” incorporates 7 short videos explaining product recalls and other various FDA activities.

Visitors to “FDA Basics” are able to comment on how useful the site was and are able to make suggestions. This web resource has received almost 1,400 comments already and these suggestions are being considered for revisions and updates.

Another initiative that the FDA has started that began in February was a webinar series. Each month a senior official from the FDA holds a 30-minute webinar about a specific topic.

The reaction to these webinars has been overwhelmingly positive. One blog post read, “the initiative can go a long way toward educating the public about what FDA does-and how-also provide industry with real-time answers to their daily challenges, ultimately improving product quality and patient safety.”

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