FDA Patient Network Launches New Website

The FDA’s new Patient Network website gives patients and advocates a bigger voice in medical product regulation, which includes drugs, devices and biologics. Designed as a key education and communication tool between the FDA and the public, the site features patient-friendly information on drug and device development and approval, clinical trials, latest treatment options, important safety information and more. It also connects members of the public to the Patient Representative Program, where they can apply to sit on official FDA Advisory Committees and act as consultants during the drug and device review processes. For more information, visit the FDA Patient Network website.

Get Informed. Get Involved. Help FDA Help Patients Have a Bigger Voice.  That’s the slogan of a new FDA web site that I’m excited to announce today. The FDA Patient Network has been designed from the ground up to focus entirely on patients.

FDA has long been developing ways to increase patients’ interest and participation in the agency’s work, and in the policies and decisions that affect them.

Since the early 1990s, FDA has been working directly with patients and patient advocates to help them learn more about how medical products are developed and regulated. Patient representatives participate in FDA advisory meetings, and contribute the important perspective of their patient community. When patients better understand the intricacies of how medical products are studied, reviewed, assessed and brought to market, their input will be that much more focused and valuable. We hope, with the launch of this new web site, to expand the role of patients beyond the select group of patient representatives and to engage a wider audience of patients in new and broader ways.

The FDA Patient Network web site is an interactive tool for educating patients, patient advocates, and consumers on how their medications – both prescription and over-the-counter ­–and medical devices move from the realm of idea to the realm of the marketplace. It brings together, in one place, information that is important to patients, making it easier for them to find what they are looking for and to understand the significance of their findings.

This web site will open new channels of communication with the public, such as live chats with senior agency officials. It will help patients and consumers better understand the process for determining whether medical products are safe and effective and encourage them to contribute their ideas and concerns about the development and regulation of these products.

I am excited because this new Patient Network web site provides a new model for FDA to follow in making its inner workings transparent to the public. It ushers in a new era of access and input for patients and consumers that will evolve with the needs of both communities. I encourage you to explore the new site at PatientNetwork.FDA.gov.

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This entry was posted in Events in Nursing, Legislative Advocacy, Patient Engagement and tagged , , by Heather Swift. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heather Swift

Heather “Swifty” Swift has been Kicking mAss since 1998. At 28 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a recently single mom with two small babies on her hip. After completing treatment with the thought that cancer was in her rear view mirror she worked, locally, as a volunteer for Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance doing community outreach to be certain that no one faced cancer alone. In 2005, she had a secondary diagnosis of breast cancer and tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation, which only amped up her commitment to creating positive change and to becoming a strong and effective advocate for the young adult cancer community. Now, at age 42, Swifty, her partner, Brian, and her two teenage children work together locally, nationally and internationally to advocate for change. Swifty regularly meets with legislators to work towards tangible change in health care, legislation that addresses the needs of cancer patients, care-partners, and families. She works directly with clinicians, medical/nursing students, youth & college students, cancer support organizations and others to educate them about the special needs of young adults living with a cancer diagnosis. Swifty is passionate about providing support by connecting people living with cancer to resources, to other cancer survivors, and to mobilizing and training individuals and groups to find their inner advocate. Swifty currently works with a number of amazing, hand-selected organizations, which provide her with opportunities to educate, to advocate, and to change the conversation about cancer and to work to bring an end to the disease. A few include: LiveSTRONG, mAss Kickers, Imerman Angels, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, Dusty Showers & The Second Basemen, and Stupid Cancer. Swifty is an oncology nursing student in upstate New York, loves time with her family, paddling sports, and peanut butter. She is a Virgo, but not the really anal-retentive type. Her strange fascination with superheroes makes her popular in geek circles, but it can be endearing. Swifty will be riding a llama across Oregon in July of 2012 and really does believe we can achieve and end to cancer and in world peace. Motto: Never Give Up! Favorite quote: “Our own life has to be our message.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

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