FDA seeks comments on transparency initiative

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As part of the final phase of its transparency initiative, the FDA is seeking comment from the public and other interested stakeholders on how the agency can increase transparency in its interactions with regulated industry. Posted in the March 12 Federal Register, the request for electronic or written comments has a deadline of April 12.

The agency formed an internal Transparency Task Force in response to the Obama Administration’s directive to achieve "an unprecedented level of openness in government."

The Task Force is developing recommendations for making “information about FDA activities and decisions more useful, understandable and readily available, while appropriately protecting confidential information.”

The Task Force held public meetings in June 2009 and November 2009. Based upon input received thus far, the Transparency Initiative has been divided into three phases. The first phase, creating a web-based resource called 'FDA Basics' to provide information on commonly misunderstood aspects of the agency, has been completed. The second phase, improving FDA’s disclosure of information to the public, is underway and the agency intends to issue draft proposals for public comment soon.

The FDA regulates products responsible for about 25 percent of the gross national product of the U.S. and the industries responsible for these products.