The FDA is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration organization. The primary function of this joint is to examine and test the quality of various things. These things usually include items used for food products, supplements, cosmetics, medical purposes, and medical appliances, including drugs as well. All such items need to be approved by the FDA.
The approval from the FDA simply means that the organization has agreed the advantages of that particular item are more than its potential risks for any purpose that it is going to be used.
What exactly does an FDA approval mean?
The FDA adopts a three-tier or three-level evaluation process. This process initially includes a decision on whether the said product or item needs the approval of the FDA or not. After a decision is made, it is then decided how hard and comprehensive the evaluation process needs to be. This depends on the risk of the particular product in question. For instance, if it is a high-risk medical device, such as implants or any other medical device, then the FDA will adopt its highest and most comprehensive level of assessment. These devices are included in Class 3 and these are the products that are actually approved by the FDA.
For the moderate items and devices included in Class 2, where there are chances of them being similar to a product for which FDA approval has already been given, the agency just runs a summary screening under a particular section. However, low-risk devices and products, like bandages, which are sold in medical stores, are said to be Class 1 devices, they just undergo a less rigorous evaluation procedure if they are already assumed safe.
The important thing here is to understand the difference between ‘FDA cleared’ or ‘FDA listed’ and ‘FDA approved. The Class 2 devices do need FDA clearance, but they do not need to submit the actual product for trial, they just need to explain to the FDA that their product is similar to another product cleared previously. The products of Class 1 and Class 2, that pass this process are said to be FDA ‘cleared’ or ‘listed’. However, this is not similar to FDA ‘approved’, which is only relatable to Class 3 devices, which have passed a test called PMA.
Which products and what kind of industries need FDA consultation or approval?
The FDA is responsible for promoting as well as protecting the general health of the public. The federal agency controls and supervises an array of products and items that are sold in the market. These items include various food products, tobacco products, drugs, medicines, pharmaceuticals, and animal food as well. The FDA also evaluates a whole lot of other things. These things may include new drugs on the market, color, food additives that are used in human as well as animal food, and some medical devices as well.
Usually, vitamins and supplements are not tested by the agency, as long as they do not contain a drug that requires the approval of the FDA. This is the reason why it is not allowed for manufacturers to claim that their products can cure a disease, but they can only say that promote the general health of the consumer.
All kinds of industries and manufacturers, who produce drugs and biologics, need to prove with the FDA that their product is safe and effective before marketing them. Animal drugs, and any kind of food additives used for animal food, which includes pets, as well as poultry, also require FDA approval. Agencies like EMMA International give you a consultation for approving your health product.
Class 1 products and medical devices are subject to the least regulation. However, manufacturers will require clearance for Class 2 devices, like wheelchairs, before any kind of marketing. High-risk devices, such as implants are examples of Class 3 devices, which require FDA approval and undergo rigorous test and evaluation procedures as compared to Class 3 products. Industries producing food ingredients, color, and food additives also need to prove that their product is safe for consumption in the market.
There are a number of products that do not require FDA approval as such. Compounded drugs, which are a combination, or alteration of a number of licensed ingredients by a regulated pharmacist, do not require FDA approval. Cosmetics, including make-up items and soaps, as well as dietary supplements do not require any kind of approval.