SEC and FDA Take Steps to Enhance Inter-Agency Cooperation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., Feb. 5, 2004 -- The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that members of its senior staff and senior personnel of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are continuing and enhancing their cooperative efforts in support of the Commission's activities. An exchange of letters memorializes the initiatives to be taken by the FDA to support the Commission in carrying out its mission to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the nation's securities markets.
The FDA generally assists the Commission by: (1) providing technical assistance, when appropriate, to the Division of Corporation Finance in its review of Commission filings, and (2) providing documents and information to the Division of Enforcement. These forms of assistance to the staff will continue, but with certain enhancements.
Among the initiatives described in the letters exchanged by the SEC and FDA staff are:
- A centralized procedure adopted by the FDA for referring to the SEC staff possible instances of securities laws violations by public companies regulated by the FDA.
- Identification of contacts in each of the FDA's main organizational components (known as Centers) to serve as points of contact for the SEC and its staff to use in requesting information from FDA. These individuals would be responsible for assuring that such requests are handled promptly and thoroughly.
- The continued sharing of non-public information by the FDA with the SEC, consistent with FDA’s current practice, and a commitment to endeavor to take steps to further expedite this process.
Stephen M. Cutler, Director of the Commission’s Division of Enforcement, and a signatory of the SEC’s letter, said, “The Commission staff appreciates FDA’s strong interest in coordinating our agencies’ activities in a cooperative manner. When companies misrepresent the status of the FDA’s review of their products, investors can be harmed. We are eager to continue working with the FDA to aggressively address such situations and to enhance our already-productive relationship.”
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Contact: John Nester
Office of Public Affairs