F.D.A. forms Transparency Task Force

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday announced the formation of a Transparency Task Force, an organization that will be responsible for developing recommendations for enhancing the transparency of the F.D.A.’s operations and decision-making process. In support of the task force, the F.D.A. said it will hold a public meeting on June 24 to solicit recommendations on how the F.D.A. may provide more available, useful and understandable information regarding its activities and decisions. A second public meeting will be held this fall.

"President Obama has pledged to strengthen our democracy by creating an unprecedented level of openness and public participation in government, and the F.D.A. looks forward to participating in this process," said Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of the F.D.A. "I have asked the Transparency Task Force to deliver recommendations to me for ways to make more information available and foster better understanding of decision-making."

The task force will be chaired by Joshua Sharfstein, M.D., principal deputy commissioner of the F.D.A., and will include center directors, the associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, chief scientist, and the chief counsel.

It’s unclear what type of information the F.D.A. currently gathers will become open to public disclosure as a result of the task force, and Ms. Hamburg said it will be up to the Transparency Task Force to figure that out while keeping in line with the F.D.A.’s goal of appropriately protecting confidential information.

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