FDA hears transparency boost ideas

Share this article:
At its first public hearing in June, the FDA's new Transparency Task Force heard diverse ideas ranging from greater news media access to FDA staff to separate consumer and professional web portals to writing legal documents in consumer-friendly language.

One of the most forceful presentations came from freelance healthcare journalist Kathryn Foxhall, who protested restrictions on reporters' access to FDA staff that she said significantly hinders the ability of the news media to do its job. This has been the subject of complaints from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Healthcare Journalists. Restrictions in place represent “severe censorship,” she declared.

In the past, she said, reporters were able to work agency beats by walking the halls, stopping to talk with and develop relations with staff at all levels, identifying over time those sources who were able to provide the kinds of education and information that they needed to write stories of use to their audiences. But through changes made in the last two presidential administrations, she said, it can now take days to get permission to talk with someone and increasingly permission is never granted.

Anyone calling an FDA staffer should get the same level of help and service, she said, whether from an industry, the news media, a consumer group or a congressional committee.
Share this article:

Email Newsletters

More in Features

Antidote: On Cystic Fibrosis treatments

Antidote: On Cystic Fibrosis treatments

Recent treatments in CF, including the inhaled antibiotic Tobramycin, have increased lifespan well into adulthood.

The $3 generic and the $1,000 pill: pharma outsiders just don't get it

The $3 generic and the $1,000 pill: pharma ...

What do you call the people who treat medical breakthroughs as if they were bank heists? Malicious? Uninformed? Not with it?

Leadership Exchange Uncut : The Agency-Client Relationship

Leadership Exchange Uncut : The Agency-Client Relationship

Click the above link to access MM&M's first Leadership Exchange Uncut e-book, "The Agency-Client Relationship"