FDA looks for transparency options

After digesting the 1,500 comments from public meetings and then deliberating internally, the FDA has produced 21 draft proposals on public disclosure policies. They are part of an effort launched by Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to give consumers and stakeholders insight into the regulator's decision-making processes.

The proposals, open for public comment for 60 days, are slated for publication in the Federal Register on Friday. The regulator's transparency task force, convened last summer, will review the comments and make recommendations.

The transparency initiative hit a milestone in January with the publication of "FDA Basics," an Internet-based curriculum to help site visitors understand what the regulator does. And one pundit found that in the six months following the launch of the initiative in June, the FDA's transparency increased 77 percent.

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