On June 2, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the formation of a task force to develop recommendations for enhancing the transparency of the FDA’s operations and decision-making process. The task force, which will be chaired by Principal Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein, M.D., will:
- Seek public input on issues related to transparency;
- Recommend ways that the agency can better explain its operations compatible with the appropriate protection of confidential information;
- Identify information the FDA should provide about specific agency operations and activities, including enforcement actions and product approvals;
- Identify problems and barriers, both internal and external, to providing useful and understandable information about FDA activities and decision-making to the public;
- Identify appropriate tools and new technologies for informing the public;
- Recommend changes to the FDA’s current operations, including internal policies and guidance, to improve the agency’s ability to provide information to the public in a timely and effective manner;
- Recommend legislative or regulatory changes, if appropriate, to improve the FDA’s ability to provide information to the public; and
- Submit a written report to the commissioner on the Transparency Task Force’s findings and recommendations.
To further these efforts, the FDA is holding a meeting June 24, 2009 to solicit recommendations on how the agency can improve the way it provides information about FDA activities to the public.