FDA’s Translucency with Social Media

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This weekly blog pinpoints huge happenings in the world of Federal government contracting. Check out more on our Twitter account: @RIVA_Solutions. And search our new hashtag, #FedBuzz, for daily updates and join the conversation! Weekly, we, here at RIVA Solutions, like to spotlight government agencies that are leading the way as part of the new social government. We profile the agencies, their public affairs officers, new media directors, web mavens and other gov communicators who give form to the messages that the agencies want to convey. Are you ready to learn about this week’s agency? Read on!

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest regulations on food and drug safety?

In the past, one may have waited for an article to be published about the products that are “harmful” or maybe visited the Food and Drug Administration website. Now, with the FDA’s adoption of social media, you can stay up-to-date with your favorite social media websites, Facebook and Twitter.

You are probably wondering about the information that the FDA is putting out there on these websites.

Like you, I wondered the same thing. Checking out their Facebook page, I noticed that the FDA doesn’t just talk about legislation that they were able to pass. They also talk about things that concern the “average” citizen. They help expand your vocabulary in hopes to help you become a better competitor with popular mobile games like “Words With Friends.” As well as, keeping you informed about food and drug allergens, and just keeping safe in the sun.

The reason that the FDA is on the social media websites is partly due to the FDA Transparency Initiative and Open Gov. The Transparency Initiative is an agency-wide effort to open the doors of the agency and promote innovation, in a manner compatible with the agency goal of appropriately protecting confidential information. FDA Commissioner, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, launched FDA’s Transparency Initiative in June 2009.  The Transparency Initiative has proceeded in three phases:

Phase I: FDA Basics – In January 2010, FDA launched a web-based resource called FDA Basics, which provides the public with basic information about FDA.

Phase II: Public Disclosure – In May 2010, the Task Force released the Phase II Transparency Report, which focused on disclosing certain information about FDA-regulated products and firms.

Phase III: Transparency to Regulated Industry – In January 2011, the Task Force released the Phase III Transparency Report, which focused on increasing the transparency of FDA operations and decision-making.

As part of the initiative, the FDA is responsible for regulating pharmaceutical companies’ interactions on social media websites. In January 2012, FDA released the guidelines for pharmaceutical companies which currently allows them to respond to questions, that are unsolicited, to help inform the person and general public with accurate information. They are not currently allowed to respond about any products that are not their own, nor are they allowed to amplify products that are not currently available.

Learn about the guidelines at http://www.slideshare.net/rwestelman/fda-feb-2012-rjw-a

Visit any of these FDA Handles to see what creative ways they share information.

Twitter: @US_FDA
Facebook: FDA
YouTube: FDATV
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