A new partnership between the Food and Drug Administration and Healthline.com will greatly expand the delivery of FDA Consumer Updates, the agency’s primary consumer-oriented publication that provides information about the safe use of FDA-regulated products.
“With our mission at Healthline.com to deliver health information that educates, engages and inspires people to get healthier, we are thrilled with our FDA partnership and the timely and authoritative FDA information we will make available to over 100 million people that visit our site each year,” said David Kopp, the general manager of Healthline.com.
Kathleen Quinn, FDA’s Acting Associate Commissioner for External Affairs, noted that the partnership will significantly broaden the Consumer Updates’ audience, which includes 160,000 e-mail subscribers, some 500,000 monthly visitors on FDA.gov, and readers who download 500,000 Consumer Update PDF files a year. Commenting on the arrangement, Quinn said that “it will provide the credible, science-based information consumers need to make informed decisions about their health.”
The FDA-Healthline partnership is described in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations that is based on “mutual recognition of the need to empower consumers with health information they can apply in daily life.” The goal is to “provide and promote FDA Information in the form of Consumer Updates to consumers” and offer to them “high quality and timely content concerning public health and safety topics, including FDA alerts on emerging issues and product recalls.”
Under the terms of the partnership, Healthline has agreed to feature FDA Consumer Updates and other content on its website, including:
- Posting FDA Consumer Updates on its web pages,
- Producing a newsletter and alerts that feature FDA content, and
- Providing direct links back to FDA web content such as the agency’s RSS feed for product recalls.
The MOU makes clear that the partnership involves no financial obligation for either party, and that “...printed and online pages containing Consumer Update health information must be free of advertisements to avoid implying FDA’s endorsement or support for a particular product, service or website.”
The FDA protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs; vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of the nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.
Healthline.com is pledged to provide “objective, trustworthy, and accurate health information” and its editorial philosophy is “to use relevant and accurate content to promote a healthy lifestyle and facilitate disease prevention, as well as to offer clinically significant, medically reviewed information for those who are seeking answers to their health questions.”
This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.
April 9, 2015