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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

Focus Group Testing of Messages about Prescription Drug Risks and Benefits

Description: The Risk Communication Staff (RCS) is conducting a focus group study to evaluate communication messages that aim to provide consumers with the balanced risk-benefit context they need to make prescription drug use decisions. RCS recently developed the messages based on findings from an initial series of focus groups conducted in 2010.

Accomplishment: The study provided FDA with consumer feedback that enabled it to refine 17 short, tagline messages about the use of generic drugs, the importance of discussing decisions with healthcare providers, and FDA’s role in the drug review process. These focus-group tested messages are written in plain language and can be used in future FDA communications to accompany more detailed information about specific products. The study also provided FDA with “lessons learned” for connecting with its audience and avoiding language than can be perceived as aggressive, condescending, or presumptuous. To view this report, please visit the following website: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/ucm312392.htm

Milestone DescriptionMilestone DateMilestone StatusMilestone Completion Date

A. Draft focus group moderator's guide


Completed 5/26/2011

B. Submit materials for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval


Completed 6/22/2011

C. Finalize participant screener and moderator's guide upon receiving OMB comments/approval


Completed 9/7/2011

D. Conduct local focus groups


Completed 9/7/2011

E. Conduct out-of-town focus groups


Completed 10/27/2011

F. Review top-line findings and provide guidance to contractor on report outline


Completed 1/5/2012

G. Provide comments to contractor on draft report


Completed 3/16/2012

H. Finalize report identifying recommended messages for FDA staff communicating product risk/benefit information to the public


Completed 3/20/2012

Key Projects Legend

Milestone StatusDefinition
Not Yet StartedWork for specific milestone has not yet been started.
CompletedMilestone and/or overall project is completed.
On TrackMilestone - On track for completion by milestone deadline. Quarter status - Project is on track for completion based on overall milestone status.
On HoldMilestone - On hold, but deadline for completion has not passed. Quarter status - Project is on hold, based on overall milestone status.
DelayedMilestone - Delayed as it has not been completed and deadline has passed. Quarter status - Project is delayed based on overall milestone status.


Note: The data provided on this website is produced on an ongoing basis for performance management purposes and is subject to change due to updates of preliminary estimates, corrections, or other reasons. In addition, FDA may change the type or amount of data provided on this website at any time. Information marked as "Completed" may include measures and/or key projects for which activities are ongoing but no longer tracked as part of FDA-TRACK.