FDA adds recalls API as openFDA initiative gathers pace

The FDA is continuing to push ahead with its openFDA initiative, with this week's rollout of an application programming interface (API) for recall data coming a month after its adverse event system went live. And the regulator plans to maintain the pace throughout the rest of the summer.

FDA chief health informatics officer Dr. Taha Kass-Hout--Courtesy of the FDA

The recall data API follows the model established by the adverse event system FDA introduced last month. "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," FDA chief health informatics officer Taha Kass-Hout wrote in a blog post to announce the new API.

Developers have been quick to make use of the adverse event API. Kass-Hout said 18,000 internet-connected devices accessed the API in its first 5 weeks and at least one new website has been set up to help the public interrogate the data. Researchers inside and outside the FDA are reportedly using the API, as is the media. Kass-Hout singled out a FiercePharma article as an example of how journalists are tapping into the data.

The plan is to make a lot more data available in the coming months. Last month FDA said it would release APIs for recalls and product labels over the summer. And having fulfilled half its promise, it is now looking beyond these early offerings. Kass-Hout expects to introduce more APIs in the weeks ahead and continue to evolve the offering in response to feedback from developers.

- read Kass-Hout's blog
- here's Regulatory Focus' take
- see the FiercePharma story