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Panel discusses risk communication

This article was originally published in The Silver Sheet

Executive Summary

FDA has not been at the forefront of providing emerging risk information, Lynne Rice, director of CDRH's office of communication, education and radiation programs, lamented at an Aug. 14 meeting of FDA's Risk Communication Advisory Panel in Rockville, Md. "We actually have to think long and hard about our persuasive communication," she said, referring to agency notices that urge doctors or patients to take a specific action. CDRH is anxious to learn better risk communication techniques from the panel, Rice said, noting that FDA has committed to accelerating and improving the release of important product safety information. Panelist Linda Neuhauser, clinical professor of community health and human development at the University of California, Berkeley, said when there is a device problem, FDA should communicate what it knows and what it doesn't, describe actions patients should take - even if the answer is "wait and see" - and tell what the agency is doing to learn more about the problem. "One of the foundations of risk communication is transparency," Neuhauser said
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