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FDA NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: October 29, 2009

FDA Media Inquiries: Shelly Burgess, 301-796-4651, shelly.burgess@fda.hhs.gov
WebMD Media Inquiries: Kate Hahn, 212-624-3760, khahn@webmd.net
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA and WebMD Expand Consumer Health Information Partnership
Collaboration expands ability to reach key populations at critical times

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and WebMD Health Corp. today announced an expansion of their partnership to provide increased access to FDA’s consumer health information. This second phase of the partnership includes expanded content and multimedia tools at www.webmd.com/fda. WebMD is personalizing FDA health information for consumers with five new online FDA sections that will initially focus on allergies and asthma, children’s health, diabetes, heart health and vitamins and supplements.

“We see partners like WebMD as critical to helping us reach the public with important health information” said Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs.

Launched in December 2008, this joint effort has already proven effective in reaching consumers with important safety information. The FDA’s information is also located within WebMD's homepage, www.webmd.com, WebMD Health News, WebMD Health Search, RSS feeds, and targeted WebMD Newsletters and Special Reports. Since the launch, over 150,000 consumers have accessed the FDA destination on WebMD for health and wellness information on issues ranging from egg safety to contact lens safety to medicine safety. The FDA’s consumer information is also available through WebMD the Magazine, distributed ten times a year and reaching an additional 11 million consumers with each issue.

“WebMD is proud to partner with the FDA to help Americans live healthier lives,” said Wayne Gattinella, WebMD president and chief executive officer. “This collaboration provides health-minded consumers with access to the FDA as a source of timely health information focusing on daily issues such as food safety and the safe use of prescription drugs, over the counter medications, and cosmetics.”

In May, the FDA’s joint partnership center on WebMD’s site increased the reach of the agency’s warning to stop using an over-the-counter weight loss product after reports of serious health problems associated with the product. A special WebMD email alert with the warning reached almost 3 million consumers interested in weight, fitness and health issues—providing the right audience with the right information at the right time.

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