WASHINGTON - The FDA last week issued a final guidance document on industry-supported scientific symposia and educational materials, completing a contentious process that has taken more than five years.

The guidance, a policy statement that is not subject to rule-making procedures, reiterates the agency's long-standing position that it is empowered by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act to regulate such activities "when they provide information on FDA-regulated products marketed by the supporting companies."