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Talking risk with the masses

One of the potential worries about FDA's new Risk Communication Advisory Committee is that it might skew the agency even further in a precautionary direction. But new members say they will be working on how to better educate the public to think about risk-benefit, especially in the face of ambiguous information. If they do their job right, it should be easier for FDA to allow and keep efficacious drugs on the market, even as new data on risks emerge.

The committee has 15 permanent members, most of whom are social scientists with expertise in areas such as health risk perception and communication. The panel will advise the agency on how to share risk-benefit information with the public "to help

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