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The Food and Drug Administration, also known as the FDA, is the oldest consumer protection agency in the United States, with origins dating back to 1848 (though it was not officially formed until 1930).[1] It is a scientific, regulatory, and public health agency that oversees most food products, medical devices, human and animal drugs, cosmetic products, tobacco, prescription drugs, and over the counter drugs. It also has limited jurisdiction over certain vitamins and supplements.[2]


Wikimedia Commons
Official name Food and Drug Administration (FDA)[3]
Established 1930 under its current name
Primary duties Oversees regulation of food, drugs, cosmetics, tobacco products, and medical devices [3]
FDA Information number 1-888-463-6332[3]
Parent organization Department of Health and Human Services[4]
Phone 888-463-6332[3]
Disclaimer The information provided by PharmacyDrugGuide is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not take any action based on the information on this page without consulting a physician.
Author Allison Hughes


FDA Background

The FDA began consumer protection functions upon its establishment through the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act. It was later named the Food and Drug Administration in 1930. Since that time, the FDA has undergone many changes in responsibilities, but has remained focused on its original mission of public health.[1]

The FDA is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.[4] The agency is responsible for protecting the public health by:

  • monitoring food safety and labeling
  • regulating medicines for humans and animals, including vaccines and medical devices
  • regulating radiation from electronics
  • monitoring labeling of cosmetics
  • monitoring safety and accurate labeling of dietary supplements
  • regulating tobacco products
  • supporting new product research

The FDA’s responsibilities extend to the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and other U.S. territories and possessions.[5]

The FDA also provides consumer information to the public, including news of product recalls, safety alerts, new drug approvals, and more. The FDA website offers health advice on a number of illnesses, as well as access to various investigational reports.[3]

History Of The FDA

History of the FDA

FDA Duties

The Food and Drug Administration is in charge of regulating almost 25 percent of the United States economy.[6] FDA employees work towards advancing public health by ensuring the safety, effectiveness and affordability of foods and medicines. The FDA also provides the public with accurate scientific information on how to use food and medicine in healthy ways.[7]

The agency also publishes records of its performance in recent months on the official website using a program called FDA-TRACK, short for Transparency-Results-Accountability-Creditability-Knowledge Sharing. Updated reports are available 30 days after administrators hold quarterly result briefings.[8]


FDA Side Effects Reporting

Through their MedWatch program, the FDA encourages consumers to report adverse reactions from medications, supplements, and health and beauty products. In addition, people are urged to report any illegal sales of medications over the Internet. Consumers may do so by filling out the online reporting form, by mailing or faxing a paper form, or by calling 1-800-FDA-1088. Consumers who have questions about specific products can call 1-888-INFO-FDA. [9]

Also See: Patient Assistance Programs, Drug Coupons, Prescription Drugs, Free Drug Samples, Gilenya Side Effects, Drug Side Effects, NIH, Mylotarg Recall, Tylenol Recall, Novartis Recall, AARP MedicareRx Plan



  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WhatWeDo/History/default.htm
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yRLIKeB1x4&feature=player_embedded
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 http://www.fda.gov/
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/default.htm
  5. http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194877.htm
  6. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/30/health/policy/30fda.html
  7. http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/default.htm
  8. http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/track/ucm2021207.htm
  9. http://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch/howtoreport/ucm053074.htm