Communicating with Stakeholders
To enhance public trust, promote safe and effective use of FDA-regulated animal products, and share CVM’s scientific endeavors, the CVM Communications staff provides continuous information sharing and outreach with our various stakeholders such as veterinarians, livestock producers, consumers, pet owners and animal advocacy groups.
In FY 2012 we interacted with universities and other government agencies about drug labeling, Adverse Drug Events, product recalls. We told our story in a variety of ways and venues including writing articles and updates in plain language for consumers, veterinarians, and industry groups. Communications staff members wrote 29 CVM Updates, brief news releases on CVM actions of interest to our stakeholders and the public. The Communication staff:
- Answered more than 5000 questions from the media, industry, and consumers through our AskCVM email and our telephone information line ranging from Salmonella in pet food to importing food and feed ingredients.
- Spoke with stakeholders face-to-face at nine national conferences, including the World Dairy Expo, the American Public Health Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Responded to 98 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for CVM files and documents during FY2012.
CVM Health Communication Specialists and Veterinary Medical Officers produced online video presentations about CVM topics for stakeholders wanting to learn more about CVM and the work being done at the Center. FY 2012 topics included:
- The Drug Review and Approval Process. This is a broad overview of the new animal drug approval process, intended for those who do not know how their animals’ drugs are approved.
- Canine NSAIDs and Client Education. Originally designed for veterinary technicians, the presentation has been adapted for all audiences including dog owners.
- A Practical Guide to Companion Animal Prescription Drug Labeling. This presentation explains the important information included in animal drug package inserts.
The Paper Trail. This searchable database references to the published work of CVM scientists. The Quarterly Paper Trail can be found on the CVM Homepage.Consumers and veterinary professionals now follow CVM activities as we tweet real time announcements of press releases, CVM Updates, answers to frequently asked questions, and highlights from CVM's website. During FY 2012, CVM posted 265 tweets to approximately 10,000 Twitter followers.
Illegal Drug Promotion and Social Media
Staff members in the Office of Surveillance and Compliance’s Division of Surveillance are working in collaboration with the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP, formerly known as DDMAC) to draft guidance documents related to use of the Internet and social media to promote prescription drugs and medical devices. The most recent Guidance is entitled Responding to Unsolicited Requests for Off-Label Information About Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices.
CVM participates in the FDA’s Transparency Task Force, with a commitment to providing transparency to the regulated industry. Of significance, we developed and conducted a webinar for FDA basics on safe use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in dogs, and updated and made all NSAID labels section 508 compliant (accessible to those with disabilities), including available client information sheets. CVM provided additional information about FDA’s drug approval process and other important human and animal health related issues that was requested by industry and other stakeholders. In webinars, information was proactively provided to stakeholders, and the stakeholders had an opportunity to ask questions. In all, we implemented 100 percent of CVM’s commitments to the transparency initiative.
Responding to Congressional and Other Correspondence
Transparent communication with FDA stakeholders is important to us, which is why we challenged ourselves to respond to 90 percent of Congressional and non-Congressional correspondence within 30 days of receiving the inquiry. In FY 2012, CVM responded to nearly twice the number of written requests received during the previous year. Despite the increased volume, we received and tracked 73 Congressional inquiries, and responded on time to all. In addition, we received and tracked 157 non-congressional requests with all responses completed on time.
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