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FDA to increase security for committee members in advisory meetings


WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration is planning on beefing up its security at advisory committee meetings, in hopes of restoring order after an incident at a recent meeting, according to The Regulation Policy Market Report.

According to reports, an intoxicated speaker in the audience at a recent meeting began a threatening rant. This isn’t the first time there have been disturbances at an advisory committee, they usually occur when the drug in question is used to treat rare-or life-threatening disease.

While the FDA hasn’t made a formal announcement of the policy changes, Office of New Drug director John Jenkins discussed the new procedures at the Drug Information Association’s annual meeting last week.

“We have put in place some new measures to help improve security at meetings,” Jenkins said. “If we anticipate that there may be an increased need for security at a particular meeting because it is a particularly controversial topic, we may have additional security procedures.”

Those procedures include:

1)      Creating a physical barrier by roping off the committee from the public. The intent, Jenkins said, is “to put some separation between those who might become agitated in the audience and committee members.”

2)      Increasing the presence of security guards in the committee room—both in uniform and street clothes.

3)      Reading a statement at the start of the meeting about “good rules of behavior.”

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