The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has unveiled the first phase of a transparency initiative, designed to make the drug approval process clearer.
The FDA's Transparency Task Force's principal deputy FDA commissioner Joshua Sharfstein detailed a web-based "FDA Basics" page that is aimed at helping the public better understand what the agency does.
The curriculum, accessible via a link on the FDA website, includes questions and answers about the agency and the products it regulates, short videos explaining various agency activities and office conversations with agency personnel.
In addition, senior officials from FDA product centres and offices have said they will answer questions on various topics during future online sessions.
Last year the FDA announced the formation of an internal task force to develop recommendations for enhancing the transparency of the FDA as a response to White House calls for new levels of openness in government.
As part of phase two, the Task Force intends to make recommendations to the commissioner regarding how to make sensitive information about agency activities more transparent, useful and understandable to the public.
In the final phase the Task Force intends to make recommendations to the commissioner regarding the FDA's transparency to regulated industries.