The Food and Drug Administration will work with WebMD and its Medscape subsidiary to provide Web-based publicly available content to health care professionals for informational purposes and continuing medical education.

Under a memorandum of understanding being published July 13 in the Federal Register, "All materials and programming produced pursuant to this collaboration must be accessible by and free of cost to the general public." The FDA's information will cover public health issues, emerging safety issues and product safety recalls. Targeted health care professionals include physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians. "This collaboration will complement FDA's capacity to educate and communicate with HCPs," according to the memorandum of understanding.

Under the alliance, the FDA and Medscape will identify public health and product alerts, guidance, service descriptions and educational programs for health care professionals. The memorandum of understanding does not grant exclusivity to either party; Medscape or WebMD could participate in similar initiatives with other organizations.

Also under the alliance, FDA information must be easily distinguishable from non-FDA content on Medscape and WebMD pages. Printed and online pages containing FDA information shall be free of advertisements to avoid implications of FDA endorsement.


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