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FDA Matters: A Prologue

FDA Matters will provide fresh insights and new perspectives for the community of people “involved in FDA matters and for whom FDA matters.” Our goal is to create an information community around the mission and activities of the Food and Drug Administration.

It is fashionable to use blogs to advance strongly-held, singular viewpoints. FDA Matters will be different. It will focus on what the agency is thinking and how its actions are shaped by Congress, the media, stakeholders and external events. It will be a source of understanding about FDA, both directly and by stimulating dialogue.

One continuing theme will be the need to plan for FDA’s future. As long as FDA moves from crisis to crisis, it can never create the orderly systems that increase effectiveness and provide predictability of action.

FDA Matters is not a voice for any interest group. The blogs will reflect my views, formed from more than 30 years working on policy and politics in DC. Every reader is encouraged to share their views through posting comments and other features.

Between my blog and posted comments, FDA Matters is likely to air many criticisms of FDA. Whenever possible, I will offer constructive suggestions for improvement and kudos for jobs that are well done. The FDA employees I know have demonstrated intelligence, commitment and fairness. They deserve our support, even if we disagree about agency policies and actions. Readers are encouraged to post comments in the same spirit.

Are there problems at the agency? Are bad decisions being made alongside good ones? Of course, on both counts. As FDA Matters will amply demonstrate, people of good will can hold opposite views about FDA and its policies and actions.

FDA Matters will reach out through several short blog columns each week, point/counterpoint exchanges, and an “Ask Steven About FDA&#8480” feature. The very best opportunities to learn and share are to get involved yourself—by posting your comments and adding the benefit of your experience and insights.

Sign up, stick around for a few columns, and give FDA Matters a chance to gain momentum and grow. A better FDA is worth the effort to stay involved.


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