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Sunday, November 11, 2007

FDA's Risk Communication Advisory Committee

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has selected 15 voting members to serve on its Risk Communication Advisory Committee. The Committee will advise FDA about how best to communicate to the public about the risks and benefits of FDA-regulated products so as to facilitate their optimal use.

On June 5, 2007 FDA announced the establishment of the advisory committee and requested nominations for qualified individuals to serve as members. The agency received more than 240 nominations, many for exceptionally qualified individuals.

The establishment of the advisory committee was one of the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s 2006 report, "The Future of Drug Safety: Promoting and Protecting the Health of the Public."

"Communicating effectively about the safety and effectiveness of drugs and other medical products is one of the central roles of FDA," said Randall Lutter, Ph.D., Deputy Commissioner for Policy. "We were in such strong agreement about the value of the Risk Communication Advisory Committee that we expanded its scope to address communication regarding all products regulated by the agency, including our food supply responsibilities."

The advisory committee’s 15 voting members include independent experts and public members. Experts were chosen from the fields of risk communication, risk perception, decision analysis, communication, social marketing, health literacy, journalism, and other behavioral and social sciences. Public members include those who can provide the perspective of users of FDA-regulated products, such as consumers, patients, caregivers and health care providers. For some meetings, one or more industry representatives may be invited to participate in a nonvoting capacity.

Members have been assigned to serve for periods ranging from one to four years. FDA expects to hold the committee’s first meeting in the first quarter of 2008. The list of members is available on FDA’s Web site at http://www.fda.gov/oc/advisory/OCRCACRoster.htm.

FDA is currently amending the committee’s charter to incorporate the provisions of the recently passed Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007.

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