FDA forms transparency task force

June 2, 2009 at 12:14 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it has formed a task force to develop suggestions for enhancing the transparency of the agency's operations.

FDA officials said they will hold a June 24 public hearing to solicit recommendations on how it can make more available, useful and understandable information on its activities and decisions.

"Our administration is committed to making government open and transparent," said Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The FDA said it also invites public input through a docket that will be open until Aug. 7 and is exploring additional electronic means for the public to provide comments on the topic.

"President Obama has pledged to strengthen our democracy by creating an unprecedented level of openness and public participation in government, and the FDA looks forward to participating in this process," said FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg. "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 FDA Deputy Commissioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein and will include the agency's centers directors, the associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, chief scientist and chief counsel.

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