WebMD, FDA partnership progresses

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WebMD and the FDA will roll out the second phase of their partnership this fall with the addition of five condition-specific online FDA centers.

The FDA centers will focus on allergies and asthma; children's health; diabetes; heart health; and vitamins and supplements, according to a spokesperson for WebMD. Advertising on FDA's exclusive page within WebMD is not allowed.

FDA's consumer information can be found throughout the WebMD site, as well as in emailed updates, news, search, RSS feeds and in WebMD the Magazine, according to the spokesperson. The partnership was launched last December as a way for WebMD to extend access to FDA health alerts and news, and also to develop heath news stories around FDA updates. “This partnership helps protect consumers by providing greater transparency into breaking health information,” the spokesperson said.

Former FDA commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach told reporters last December that FDA content would be tailored for WebMD's audience, but “not to the point that it creates an exclusive relationship.” WebMD is the only consumer health website to partner with the FDA.

The partnership has provided “tens of millions of Americans with increased access to FDA's consumer health information,” according to a WebMD spokesperson. “This included agency warnings on food recalls, including the peanut butter recall and important product safety information.”
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