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Last week an FDA advisory panel met to advise the agency on better ways to communicate with the public. In recent years many people have lost much of their faith in the FDA. The FDA issues public advisories about safety matters involving prescription medication, medical devices, and tainted foods among other products. The agency’s communicates with the public through press releases to the media and the publishing of information on their website, but commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach believes that many people do not understand and appreciate the efforts being made by the FDA to ensure public safety.

The FDA has recently begun to issue public announcement and early communications about potential risks of medications before conclusive evidence of a problem is established. Some experts believe that these communications create confusion and do not provide an accurate portrayal of the benefits of some medications.

Von Eschenbach said the FDA would consider changing the way it explains product risks to the media and the public.

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