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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Focus Groups as Used by the Food and Drug Administration

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Food and Drug Administration, HHS.




The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on focus groups as used by FDA to gauge public opinion. Policymakers can use focus group results to test and refine their ideas so they can conduct further research, as well as, adopt new policies and to allocate or redirect significant resources to support these policies.


Submit written or electronic comments on the collection of information by January 23, 2004.


Submit electronic comments on the collection of information to:​dockets/​ecomments. Submit written comments on the collection of information to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

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JonnaLynn P. Capezzuto, Office of Management Programs (HFA-250), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Start Printed Page 65939Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, 301-827-4659.

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Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

Focus Groups as Used by the Food and Drug Administration—(OMB Control Number 0910-0497)

FDA will collect and use information gathered through the focus group vehicle. This information will be used to develop programmatic proposals, and as such, compliments other important research findings to develop these proposals. Focus groups do provide an important role in gathering information because they allow for a more indepth understanding of consumers' attitudes, beliefs, motivations, and feelings than do quantitative studies.

Also, information from these focus groups will be used to develop policy and redirect resources, when necessary, to our constituents. If this information is not collected, a vital link in information gathering by FDA to develop policy and programmatic proposals will be missed causing further delays in policy and program development.

FDA estimates the burden for completing the forms for this collection of information in table 1 of this document .

The total annual estimated burden imposed by this collection of information is 2,830 hours annually.

Table 1.—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden1

CenterSubjectNo. of Focus Groups per StudyNo. of Focus Groups Sessions Conducted AnnuallyNo. of Participants per GroupHours of Duration for Each Group (includes screening)Total Hours
Center for Biologics Evaluation and ResearchMay use focus groups when appropriate1591.5871
Center for Drug Evaluation and ResearchVaries (e.g., direct-to-consumer Rx drug promotion, physician labeling of Rx drugs, medication guides, over-the-counter drug labeling, risk communication1010091.581,422
Center for Devices and Radiological HealthVaries (e.g., FDA Seal of Approval, patient labeling, tampons, on-line sales of medical products, latex gloves41692.08300
Center for Food Safety and Applied NutritionVaries (e.g., food safety, nutrition, dietary supplements, consumer education)84091.58569
Center for Veterinary MedicineVaries (e.g., animal nutrition, supplements, labeling of animal Rx)52592.08468
1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

Annually, FDA projects about 28 focus group studies using 186 focus groups lasting an average of 1.78 hours each. FDA has allowed burden for unplanned focus groups to be completed so as not to restrict the agency's ability to gather information on public sentiment for its proposals in its regulatory as well as other programs.

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Dated: November 14, 2003.

Jeffrey Shuren,

Assistant Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 03-29197 Filed 11-21-03; 8:45 am]