FDA expands Transparency Initiative with new Web-based curriculum

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration hopes to broaden the public’s understanding of the way it does business with a new Web-based curriculum unveiled Tuesday.

“FDA Basics” includes short videos explaining various agency activities, conversations with staff about the work of their office and questions and answers about the FDA and the products it regulates.

“The launch of FDA Basics is our first step towards making FDA a more transparent agency,” principal deputy commissioner and chairman of the FDA’s Transparency Task Force Joshua Sharfstein said in a statement.

The curriculum is part of the FDA’s Transparency Initiative, launched in response to a push by the Obama administration to increase openness in government. The Transparency Task Force has spent the last several months soliciting public input via a public docket, public meetings and a blog on how to increase the agency’s transparency, collecting hundreds of comments from patients, consumers, healthcare providers and industry.

The FDA plans to roll out the initiative in three phases, FDA Basics being the first, followed by recommendations to commissioner Margaret Hamburg on how to make FDA activities more transparent to the public and the industries the agency regulates.

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

Visit the FDA Basics Web site at www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Basics.

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