OpenFDA Adds API Access to Recall Data

Since ProgrammableWeb first covered openFDA at its launch last month, it has added a new database available through its API: recall data reported to the Food and Drug Administration. Recall data is reported to the FDA on a continuous basis through its Recall Eenterprise System. Each week, the FDA releases an enforcement report that organizes and maintains the reports. Now, through the openFDA initiative, the FDA offers API access to all drug, device and food enforcement reports dating back to 2004.


OpenFDA has already garnered significant attention since its launch on June 2. In just over a month, the site has had 26,000 unique visitors, with a total of more than 80,000 page views. The first API released, the adverse events API, has been accessed by 18,000 connected devices and received more than 2.4 million API calls. API access to recall data adds to the already available RSS Feed, Flickr stream and search interface for recall data.

OpenFDA continues with a RESTful API strategy and returns calls in a JSON data format. While the entire openFDA initiative, and the corresponding APIs, remain in beta, openFDA has already had a significant impact on public health initiatives. Developers interested in integrating recall data into third-party apps or websites can visit the GitHub page or the openFDA site.    

OpenFDA will continue to monitor demand for API access to new data sets and process feedback for its existing APIs. The FDA envisions that automated access to its data will help drive research, product development and innovation that the agency has not yet considered. The initiative has certainly gained traction in its first few weeks, but the ongoing success of openFDA will be largely reliant on candid feedback and developers willing to experiment with openFDA APIs.

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