Using the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a case study, this report evaluates the use of advisory committees by expert scientific regulatory agencies.
When faced with difficult decisions about new drugs or medical devices, the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is authorized to consult with advisory committees
of independent experts. Advisory committees provide critical scientific
insights and credibility for FDA efficacy and safety determinations.
Leveraging data on the frequency, outcomes, and deliberative process of FDA
advisory committees, this new report describes the impact of expert advisory
committees on FDA decision making. The research discussed the roles that
expert advisors play in this essential public health agency, and the report makes
evidence-based recommendations that policymakers can implement to make
advisory committees optimally useful for the FDA. The FDA case serves as a
framework for recommendations about how other expert agencies can best
engage with expert independent advisory committees.
We hope that this report helps leaders in science-focused agencies to leverage expert advice in a way that
informs and improves decision making.