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FDA To Post Public Health Advisories On WebMD

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

FDA and WebMD on Wednesday announced an agreement that will allow the agency to post public health advisories, consumer updates and safety information on food, medications and cosmetic products on a dedicated WebMD Web page, CongressDaily reports (CongressDaily, 12/3). Under the agreement, FDA will post the information on a dedicated Web page separate from the main WebMD site that includes no advertisements.

The Web page also will feature FDA user polls. In exchange, FDA will publish consumer updates in a bimonthly print magazine produced by WebMD. Neither FDA nor WebMD will receive payments under the agreement, agency spokesperson Scott McFarland said.

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The information currently appears on the FDA Web site, but the dedicated WebMD page will allow more consumers to access the information, according to agency Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach. WebMD has nearly 50 million unique users monthly, and about nine million individuals read the magazine, he said.

Von Eschenbach said, "Whether it's the issue of an outbreak of a food illness or a concern over a contaminated product or the availability of a new innovative solution to a disease process, I think we're looking at a multiplex way of trying to get that information to the public and this is one more of these opportunities" (Kim, CQ HealthBeat, 12/3). He added, "This is an important step forward in our effort to form partnerships to help bring timely safety alerts and other public health information to a wider audience in the most effective and convenient way" (Corbett Dooren, Dow Jones, 12/3).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.