[Federal Register: August 16, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 157)]
[Page 48160-48162]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Food and Drug Administration

[Docket No. 2005N-0218]

Vision 2006--A Conversation With the American Public; Notice of 
Public Meetings on Specific Food and Drug Administration Issues; 
Request for Comments

AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION: Notice of meetings; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing a series 
of public meetings entitled ``Vision 2006--A Conversation With the 
American Public,'' in three cities. This forum will be an open format 
in which consumers can interact directly with the agency's leadership 
to discuss what is on the public's mind. It will also be an opportunity 
for the agency to update the public on current agency programs, engage 
the public in discussion, and obtain consumer input on specific

[[Page 48161]]

issues. We may use the public input we receive to evaluate and to 
propose modifications, if necessary, to our programs and activities.

DATES: See table 1, section III, of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section of this document for meeting dates and times. See section IV of 
this document for information on how to register, to speak at, or to 
attend a meeting. Written or electronic comments must be received by 
November 30, 2005.

section of this document for meeting locations. Submit electronic 
comments to http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fda.gov/dockets/ecomments. Submit written 

comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug 
Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All 
comments should be identified with the docket number found in brackets 
in the heading of this document.

    For information about this document: Philip L. Chao, Food and Drug 
Administration (HF-23), 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, 301-
827-0587, FAX: 301-827-4774, e-mail: philip.chao@fda.hhs.gov.
    For information regarding registration: Isabelle Howes, Graduate 
School, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 490 L'Enfant Plaza, Promenade 
Level, suite 710, Washington, DC 20024, 202-314-4713, FAX: 202-479-
6801, e-mail: Isabelle_Howes@grad.usda.gov.


I. Why Do We Want to Hold Public Meetings?

    New medical products have played a critical role in improving the 
lives of millions of Americans, providing much-needed treatments and 
cures for a wide range of illnesses. New advances in food technology 
and nutrition have enabled consumers to improve their health and well-
being in countless ways. As we move forward in the 21st century, 
Americans are rightly concerned that advances in science should 
continue to translate into better products and technologies that can 
benefit their health.
    FDA lies at a critical juncture to enable these kinds of advances 
in science, technology, and health. The agency is responsible for 
protecting and promoting the public health by ensuring the safety and 
effectiveness of most human and animal drugs; biological products such 
as vaccines, cellular therapies, and blood; medical devices; tissues, 
and radiation-emitting products such as x-ray machines. We are also 
responsible for ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of food 
(including animal feed and dietary supplements) and cosmetics. Many 
Americans are rightly interested in FDA's programs, and the steps that 
the agency is taking to ensure that the promise of better science 
translates into longer lives with fewer problems from today's diseases. 
Consumers also want the opportunity to participate, in a meaningful 
way, in our work, whether we are discussing a complex scientific issue, 
proposing a regulation to address a particular problem, or implementing 
a new law.
    We are holding these public meetings to help enhance this dialogue. 
This series of meetings will be an open forum in which consumers can 
interact directly with the agency's top leadership, including its 
leading scientists, to discuss what is on the public's mind.
    We already provide similar opportunities for the public to engage 
in the agency's decisionmaking processes. We encourage people to take 
advantage of these regular opportunities to provide the agency with 
critical input into its programs. For example, the agency hosts 
frequent public meetings to discuss specific topics, reserves time 
during advisory committee meetings for public input, and invites the 
public to submit written or electronic comments on our rules. In 2004, 
we received more than 140,000 comments (including form letters) on 
rules, notices, and other matters. But the series of public meetings 
being announced in this document is a unique gathering of all of the 
agency's top leadership, including FDA Commissioner of Food and Drugs 
Lester Crawford, to provide direct feedback in an open forum on a broad 
range of issues of interest to the public.
    Through the public meetings we are announcing in this document, we 
are also offering an opportunity for the public to hear more about, and 
to give us input on, specific programs or initiatives that we are 
currently pursuing to better protect and advance the public health. 
Public input will help us shape the agency's agenda for 2006 and 
beyond, as we commence our second century of serving the American 
public. Among some of the topics that we hope to discuss at the 
meetings are new opportunities to advance the safe use of medical 
products, increase the public health benefits of direct-to-consumer 
advertising, guarantee the safety and reliability of dietary 
supplements, and improve the science of drug development by lowering 
the cost of new medical products and speeding access to better medical 
technologies through the agency's ``Critical Path'' initiative. We also 
hope to discuss our continuing efforts to increase public understanding 
of, and involvement in, the agency's scientific and regulatory 
processes--for example, through our advisory committee process and 
through improved, direct communication with consumers.
    Through this open dialogue, the agency's leadership hopes to gain 
valuable insight from those who benefit from its regulatory efforts. 
FDA appreciates all of the consumer interest in its activities, and the 
agency's programs have benefited greatly from the feedback FDA receives 
from its many constituencies. To increase the transparency of our 
decisionmaking process, we are developing new, and expanding existing, 
communications channels to provide targeted information about new 
products to the public. We believe patients, healthcare professionals, 
and consumers will find the information useful in their individual 
treatment decisions. In an era when more and more of the products that 
people use are personalized to their individual needs, especially 
medical products and dietary choices, communicating the unique risks 
and benefits of individual products, and matching them to patients' 
individual needs, becomes paramount.
    We want to ensure the information we provide and new efforts we are 
undertaking provide maximum value to consumers. Among the many 
questions we would like the public to consider are the following:
     What information do you expect to receive from FDA 
regarding the benefits and risks of new food and medical products?
     Where do you currently get information about these 
products, and how beneficial is this information in helping to inform 
the decisions you make?
     What additional information, if any, do you believe should 
be provided to enable you to discuss with your physician or other 
health care provider the benefits and risks of products for a health 
condition you have or think you might have?
     What additional steps can FDA take to improve its 
communication with consumers and build on your confidence in its 
activities and its mission?

II. How Should You Send Comments on the Issues?

    If you would like to submit comments on any of the issues discussed 
in this document, please send your comments

[[Page 48162]]

to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). Submit a single 
copy of electronic comments or two paper copies of any written 
comments, except that individuals may submit one paper copy. Comments 
should be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the 
heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division 
of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. 
To ensure consideration of your comments, we must receive any written 
or electronic comments by November 30, 2005.

III. Where and When Will the Meetings Occur?

    We will hold public meetings in three cities to discuss the issues 
described earlier in this document. The meetings are scheduled from 10 
a.m. to 4 p.m.
    The meeting dates, times, and locations are as follows:

                                  Table 1.--Meeting Dates, Times, and Locations
     Location                           Meeting Site Address                          Meeting Date and Time
Boston, MA          Boston Marriott Cambridge, 2 Cambridge Center (Broadway and  November 2, 2005, 10 a.m. to 4
                     3d St.), Cambridge, MA 02142                                 p.m.
Miami, FL           Intercontinental West Miami, 2505 Northwest 87th Ave.,       September 13, 2005, 10 a.m. to
                     Miami, FL 33172                                              4 p.m.
Phoenix, AZ         Phoenix Airport Marriott, 1101 North 44th St., Phoenix, AZ   November 30, 2005, 10 a.m. to 4
                     85008                                                        p.m.

IV. Do You Have to Register to Make a Presentation at or to Attend a 

    If you wish to make a presentation at or to attend any meeting, 
please register online at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.grad.usda.gov/vision at least 5 

business days before the appropriate meeting date. The online 
registration form will instruct you as to the information you should 
provide (such as name, address, telephone number, electronic mail 
address, topic(s) of interest, whether you wish to make a presentation, 
and which meeting you wish to attend). We also will accept walk-in 
registrations on the meeting dates. However, space is limited, and we 
will close registration at each site when maximum seating capacity for 
that site is reached (approximately 150 people per location).
    We will try to accommodate all persons who wish to make a 
presentation. The time allotted for presentations will depend on the 
number of people who wish to speak on a given topic, and the meeting 
schedule at each location. Similarly, the time allotted to each topic 
may vary depending on the expressed interests of persons registering 
for a particular meeting. To obtain updates on the meetings, please 
visit http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/vision2006.html. Additionally, 

regardless of whether you wish to make a presentation or simply attend 
a meeting, if you need any special accommodations (such as wheelchair 
access or a sign language interpreter), please notify Isabelle Howes 
(see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) at least 7 days in advance of the 

V. Will Meeting Transcripts Be Available?

    We will prepare transcripts of each meeting. You may request a copy 
of a meeting transcript by writing to our Freedom of Information Office 
(HFI-35), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, rm. 12A-16, 
Rockville, MD 20857. We anticipate that transcripts will be available 
approximately 30 business days after the public meetings at a cost of 
10 cents per page. The transcripts will also be available for public 
examination at the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), 5630 
Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., 
Monday through Friday.

    Dated: August 11, 2005.
Jeffrey Shuren,
Assistant Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 05-16281 Filed 8-15-05; 8:45 am]