API Provides Open Access To FDA Recall Data

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | July 21, 2014

As part of the Food and Drug Administration’s recently launched openFDA initiative, the regulatory agency is for the first time offering an application programming interface providing web developers and researchers direct access to millions of reports on drug adverse events and medication errors that have been submitted to the FDA since 2004.  

“The hope is that this API will be useful to developers and researchers interested in FDA enforcement actions,” writes Taha Kass-Hout, M.D., FDA’s chief health informatics officer and director of the FDA Office of Informatics and Technology Innovation, in a recent blog. “Developers can now call into the API to add recalls data to mobile apps or consumer websites. And researchers could use the API to study individual manufacturers, product categories, or specific foods or drugs.”

According to Kass-Hout, recalls are reported to the FDA and compiled into the agency’s Recall Enterprise System, and every week an enforcement report is released that catalogues them. He says the recalls database is the second dataset to be released under the openFDA initiative.  So far, the adverse events API has been accessed by 18,000 Internet connected devices, with nearly 2.4 million API calls since the launch...