Last year, Eye on FDA had a posting that examined the press releases of the previous year, relying on a new tracking system I had implemented for that purpose. This being the second year of the database, we can not only see what FDA had to say about what – but we can now compare some of the numbers to 2013.
Looking first at volume, the numbers were very similar. In 2013 the agency issued 165 press releases, slightly more than the 161 released in 2014. Reflecting the significant number of approvals during 2014, however, a higher percentage of the announcements were regarding approvals (represented in dark blue).
There were fewer alerts issued and fewer recalls in 2014 than in 2013. There were approximately the same number of legal actions. On the approval side, when it comes to types of approvals, there were actually roughly the same number of drug/vaccine approval announcements in 2014 as in 2013 (60 versus 61 respectively), however the number of announcement involving devices/tests grew considerably from 20 in 2013 to 30 in 2014. As with 2013, legal actions was the second highest category after approval announcements.
The number of press releases that were translated into Spanish rose slightly in number and proportion this year. In 2013, 29.7 percent (49) of the FDA press releases were bilingual and in 2014 there were 33.5 percent (54) also available in Spanish. Still not discernible is any pattern to predict when a release would be translated. For example, many, but not all, approval announcements are translated.
That’s the look back at what FDA had to say in 2014 and how they said it.