5.3: The committee recommends that Congress amend the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to require that product labels carry a special symbol such as the black triangle used in the UK or an equivalent symbol for new drugs, new combinations of active substances, and new systems of delivery of existing drugs. The Food and Drug Administration should restrict direct-to-consumer advertising during the period of time the special symbol is in effect.

The symbol should remain on the drug label and related materials for 2 years unless FDA chooses to shorten or extend the period on a case-by-case basis.

5.4: The committee recommends that FDA evaluate all new data on new molecular entities no later than 5 years after approval. Sponsors will submit a report of accumulated data relevant to drug safety and efficacy, including any additional data published in a peer-reviewed journal, and will report on the status of any applicable conditions imposed on the distribution of the drug called for at or after the time of approval.


The public would benefit from more information about how drugs are studied before FDA approval, how drugs’ risks and benefits are assessed, and what FDA review entails. Patients also need timely information about emerging safety concerns and about a drug’s effectiveness. Such information would help patients make better decisions in collaboration with their health care providers. FDA does not have an adequate mechanism for seeking and receiving specific scientific and patient/consumer advice on communication matters.

6.1: The committee recommends that Congress enact legislation establishing a new FDA advisory committee on communication with patients and consumers. The committee would be composed of members who represent consumer and patient perspectives and organizations. The advisory committee would advise CDER and other centers on communication issues related to efficacy, safety, and use during the lifecycle of drugs and other medical products, and it would support the centers in their mission to “help the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health.”

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