Thursday, June 4, 2009

FDA Transparency Blog

Transparency is a real buzz phrase in the world of industry-supported medical education. We all want to know if a speaker has any financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Do such ties influence clinical attitudes and prescribing behaviors? To ties to industry influence the decisions made by government organizations such as the FDA? After all, the decisions they make heavily impact the success (or failure) of many pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

The FDA recently launched the FDA Transparency Blog. This almost implies that the FDA has not been transparent. Or, perhaps they are now making a concerted effort to demonstrate their willingness to publicly disclose anything that might influence their decisions. The Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., formed the Transparency Task Force, chaired by Principal Deputy Commissioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, to provide recommendations on ways to make the FDA and its processes more transparent to the public.

On the blog, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; remarks: "Our Administration is committed to eliminating the barriers between the American people and their government, and the Task Force is another big step in the right direction."

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