Panel Will Advise FDA on Publicizing Medical Risks
FDA on Monday said that it would appoint a panel of outside specialists to advise the agency on how to inform the public about the risks and benefits of medicines and medical devices, Reuters/New York Times reports.
The panel will be composed of 15 members, including experts on risk communication, social marketing, health literacy, journalism, bioethics and other related fields. Consumers, patients and health professionals also might be appointed to the panel.
FDA's announcement precedes a congressional hearing at which lawmakers are expected to discuss the agency's lack of warning to patients about a possible heart risk associated with GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug Avandia.
Randall Lutter, the agency's acting deputy commissioner for policy, said in a statement that the new advisory committee "will bring together a broad range of experts and views to help improve FDA's communication of the science-based information about product risks and benefits that the public needs to make informed decisions" (Reuters/New York Times, 6/5).