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FDA and the Freedom of Information Act: The Unredacted Story

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FDA’s website has grown to be a vast resource for regulated industry. So much is available that many think that if information isn’t on fda.gov, it doesn’t exist.  But there are whole categories of valuable documents FDA does not add to its website; information that you can have if you know what to ask for and precisely how to ask for it under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

FOIA is a federal freedom of information law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the US government, including the FDA. FOIA allows companies to gain information to help them, including establishment inspection reports (EIRs); FDA investigator notes and diaries; and FDA-483s and responses.

This webinar will take you on a down-to-earth tour of the information that is available from FDA using FOIA. The content shared will be of interest to those who need information about how FDA really works, including those involved in regulatory affairs, quality assurance, quality control and related departments, and library and information specialists who research areas affected by FDA.

In addition, executives in upper management now have a huge incentive for seeking insight into FDA actions.  The agency has announced a renewed focus on the Park Doctrine, which holds senior management criminally liable for quality failures – regardless of knowledge of, or involvement with, the process or product involved.  In some instances, a deeper understanding of the internal workings of FDA may help prevent a criminal conviction, fines and incarceration.

The presenters will address the politics of FOIA to explain the how and why of the underlying Congressional amendments to the Act. Examples of how material obtained under FOIA have been used by the press and watchdog groups to research regulated industry and subsequently inform consumers of real and potential problems will also be shared.

It's clear that almost everyone involved in working with FDA can use FOIA to learn more about the agency's priorities, regulatory interpretations and regulated products and companies. Join us and discover what YOU can discover!

Featured Topics 

  • What FOIA is – and isn’t
  • What FDA tells you about using FOIA
  • What FDA doesn’t tell you about using FOIA
  • Tips for constructing effective FOIA requests
  • How long it takes to receive records
  • What you can’t get, no matter nicely how you ask
  • Various types of records to consider requesting – and how to get them
  • What you can expect to learn from each record type

Who Should Attend 

Professionals who work in the areas of regulatory affairs, quality assurance, quality control and related departments, and library and information specialists.

Learning Objectives 

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss the intricacies of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
  • Identify how to place a request under the FOIA, and what information you can gain and what you can do with it

Contact Information 

Archived Webinar Details
Carolyn Callahan
DIA North America
Phone +1.215.442.6194
Fax +1.215.442.6199

Technical Requirements 

Click here for minimum system requirements.


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Day 1 Thursday, May 30, 2013

  • 1:00PM - 11:59PM

    FDA and the Freedom of Information Act: The Unredacted Story


    • Presented by: Marlene Bobka, FOI Services, Inc. and Harry Hammitt, Access Reports, Inc.
      Marlene S. Bobka, MLS
      Vice President
      FOI Services Inc., United States
    • Harry A. Hammitt
      Access Reports Inc., United States

Registration Fees 

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Group Site
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Group Discounts

  • Group site registration is a license for ONE internet login allowing multiple viewers from one location.
  • Group Plus is a license for up to FIVE internet logins allowing one or more viewers at each login location.

No refunds will be provided in the event of a participant’s cancellation since all costs for this webinar have been prepaid by DIA. DIA reserves the right to modify or cancel programs and/or substitute presenters or panelists. DIA is not responsible for failure to deliver programs due to circumstances beyond its control.

Participants with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations will be made available to persons with disabilities who attend an educational activity. Contact the DIA office in writing at least 15 days prior to event to indicate your needs.

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Unless otherwise disclosed, the statements made by speakers represent their own opinions and not necessarily those of the organization they represent, or that of the Drug Information Association. Speakers, agenda and CE information are subject to change without notice. Recording of any DIA educational material in any type of media is prohibited without prior written consent from DIA.

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