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| 21 February 2013 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is calling for the nomination of consumer representatives for its public advisory committees.
FDA uses the advisory panels to review high-risk drug products or pressing issues that warrant a transparent discussion of the issues and allow for public comment. Though regulators are free to disregard the final opinions of the committee-and occasionally do, most often when the panel is deeply divided-the committees' opinions often foreshadow FDA's own decisions.
By law, these committees are supposed to be "fairly balanced" to include participation from non-conflicted experts, members of industry and members of the public. The latter two categories are occasionally sought as non-voting members, but are nevertheless influential in their ability to raise questions or points that may alter or influence the course of the committee's discussion.
On 21 February 2013, FDA announced that it is actively seeking 11 members for its advisory committees and their various panels. All eleven are supposed to represent consumer interests, and seven will be given voting privileges on their respective panels. The remaining four will serve in a non-voting capacity.
Committee or Panel
Vacancies, Type of Position
1 December 2013
Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs
1 July 2013
Endocrinologic and Metabolic
Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs
Pulmonary Allergy Drugs
1 June 2013
Vaccines and Related Biological Products
Circulatory System Devices Panel
Ear, Nose and Throat Devices Panel
Microbiology Devices Panel
Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation
1 September 2013
Tags: Vacancies, Nomination, Advisory Committees, members