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Ensuring effectiveness, safety of new skin therapies

A dermatologist leads an FDA advisory committee’s innovation and safety review for new therapies.

Dr. Katz's story

Kenneth Katz, MD
Kenneth Katz, MD, MSc, MSCE, FAAD, physician
New dermatologic treatments can bring great promise to the more than 84 million people in the United States living with skin disease. Such therapies are crucial to ensure these innovations are both safe and effective for patients.

I’m a board-certified dermatologist practicing at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. I also co-chair the Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In that role, I lead a team of experts that – at FDA’s request – meets to evaluate data and weigh in on the safety and effectiveness of new dermatology-related medicines or dermatology-related matters of concern to the FDA. At the conclusion of our meetings, we provide FDA with recommendations regarding drug approval or other matters.

Practicing dermatologists on the committee can provide real-world perspectives, since we treat skin, hair, and nail conditions every day and can understand what patients care about the most. Whenever I review a potential treatment, I always ask myself, "Would the benefits of this intervention, for my patients, outweigh its risks? Would it better their lives?"

I take great pride knowing our efforts help to advance the field of dermatology and positively affect millions of patients. In recent years, our team has reviewed an innovative psoriasis treatment now used by thousands of patients, helped make an effective acne treatment more accessible, recommended a timeline for testing new eczema treatments in children, and more.

The Academy's perspective

Headshot of Dr. Tomecki

“Board-certified dermatologists are leaders in finding innovative ways to alleviate serious diseases and improve patients' lives. As the experts in our field, we're immensely knowledgeable on how different ingredients may affect the skin and how they can be combined to treat different conditions.”

─ Ken Tomecki, MD, FAAD, President, American Academy of Dermatology

Patient & physician stories

Learn how board-certified dermatologists have helped patients with serious skin disease and collaborated with other doctors to enhance patient care.

Browse all stories