Monday, June 04, 2007

FDA creates new "Risk Communication Advisory Committee"

It appears that the FDA is one of the first Federal agencies to systematically turn to experts in media, marketing, and communication in order to successfully communicate with the broader public. Here's today's announcement of the creation of an FDA Risk Communication Advisory Committee:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced a new advisory committee designed to counsel the agency on how to strengthen the communication of risks and benefits of FDA-regulated products to the public.

The Risk Communication Advisory Committee will;

  • help FDA better understand the communication needs and priorities of the general public;
  • advise FDA on the development of strategic plans to communicate product risks and benefits; and
  • make recommendations to FDA on what current research suggests about crafting risk and benefit messages, as well as how to most effectively communicate specific product information to vulnerable audiences.

“Communicating the risks and benefits associated with FDA-regulated products is essential to help consumers and health care professionals make informed decisions,” said Randall Lutter, Ph.D., FDA’s acting deputy commissioner for policy. “The Risk Communication Advisory Committee will bring together a broad range of experts and views to help improve FDA’s communication of the science-based information about product risks and benefits that the public needs to make informed decisions.” [...]

Experts will include authorities knowledgeable in the fields of risk communication, social marketing, health literacy, cultural competency, journalism, bioethics, and other relevant behavioral and social sciences.

(Here's a copy of the full release.)