• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

Section Contents Menu



Information about FDA Compliance and Enforcement Actions

Phase II Progress Report

Phase III Progress Report

Picture of inspection officer

FDA has responsibility for enforcing a broad range of statutory and regulatory requirements. FDA is taking steps to make its enforcement activities more transparent. For example, FDA has posted a a searchable database that includes the name and address of inspected facilities, the date(s) of inspection, type of FDA-regulated products involved, and final inspectional classification, as well as a summary of the most common inspectional observations.

FDA has also placed a number of enforcement-related datasets on the Data.gov website. These include datasets for major food recalls, including the peanut and shell egg recalls, and a dataset providing information about web sites that are or were illegally marketing unapproved, uncleared, or unauthorized products related to the 2009 H1N1 flu virus.  FDA has also launched a redesigned webpage and phone app to permit consumers to search more easily and quickly for food and other product recalls, market withdrawals, and safety alerts. Go to Improved Recall Search Display. In addition, FDA can assist interested parties, in certain instances, in addressing marketplace confusion over the identity of products subject to a recall. Assisting Interested Parties in Addressing Marketplace Confusion Over the Identity of Products Subject to Recall.

On May 26, in support of EO 13563, more than two dozen Federal agencies released plans that identified initiatives with the potential to eliminate tens of millions of hours in reporting burdens, and billions of dollars in regulatory costs.  FDA, as part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is included in the HHS Preliminary Plan for Retrospective Review of Existing Rules The HHS Plan identifies regulations already being modified or streamlined and identifies additional candidates for further review.

I.  Regulatory compliance and enforcement actions

FDA has authority to take both administrative and judicial actions to protect the public from dangerous and illegal products, to punish persons and companies who violate the law, and to deter violations.  Administrative actions are decided upon and taken by the agency in the first instance, although they can be appealed to federal courts.  Judicial actions are decided upon and taken by federal courts, at the request of the Department of Justice and FDA.

  • Administrative actions include product recalls, debarment of individuals or companies who have been convicted of felonies, withdrawals of product approvals, license revocations, and disqualification of clinical investigators.
  • Judicial actions include seizures of violative products, injunctions, criminal prosecutions, and certain civil money penalties.

The following links provide information on many of the specific administrative and judicial actions that have been taken by or on behalf of FDA.


A.  Administrative actions (Click to see more)


B. Judicial actions (Click to see more)


II. Procedures for identifying violations 

 To find out whether companies are complying with FDA’s requirements, FDA can carry out investigations of different kinds, including routine and for-cause inspections of companies and individuals who manufacture, distribute, or test regulated products, and criminal investigations.  (FDA may also learn of potential violations through other sources, such as referrals from other regulatory or law enforcement organizations.)  

The following links provide information about inspections and investigations FDA has conducted.


B.  Criminal investigations (Click to see more)
    • H1N1 Flu-Related Enforcement Dataset:
    • Notifications informing consumers about specific counterfeit medicines and cargo thefts of FDA-regulated products that may pose health risks to consumers, and that have been uncovered in FDA investigations:


III. Procedures for notification of violations

FDA notifies companies and individuals of potential violations of FDA’s requirements, generally in advance of taking enforcement actions, through several mechanisms.  Warning Letters inform recipients of significant regulatory violations documented during inspections or investigations that may lead to an enforcement action if the violation is not promptly corrected.  Untitled Letters are initial correspondence citing violations that do not necessarily meet the criteria for a Warning Letter.  Import Alerts contain information given to the FDA district offices concerning new problems affecting particular imports. Notices of Initiation of Disqualification Proceedings and Opportunity to Explain (NIDPOE) are sent to clinical investigators notifying them that the agency is proposing to disqualify them from participating in future FDA-regulated investigations.


A.  Warning letters (Click to see more)


B. Untitled letters (by FDA Center)

C. Import Alerts

D. FDA NIDPOE list for proposed disqualification of clinical investigators:


IV.  General enforcement information

The following links are to sources that gather in one place information about all the enforcement actions FDA has undertaken in a given period of time, or that specific FDA Centers have undertaken.


A. “Enforcement Story” (FDA's enforcement-related activities in all product areas over which FDA has jurisdiction, 2001-2009)

B. Annual enforcement statistics

C. 2011 Enforcement Action Press Announcements

D. Compliance actions by the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research

E. Compliance actions by the Center for Veterinary Medicine