Consumer Basics

Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the federal agency that is responsible for protecting public health through regulation and supervision of several different types of products, including food products, tobacco products, medications, medical devices, dietary...

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20993
Phone: (888) INFO-FDA (463-6332)
http://www.fda.gov

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the federal agency that is responsible for protecting public health through the regulation and supervision of several different types of products, including food products, tobacco products, medications, medical devices, dietary supplements, and cosmetics.

One of the FDA’s key functions is to regulate labeling and advertising.

With respect to advertising, the FDA regulates ads for prescription drugs, requiring ads to only market a drug for the medical use for which it was approved, and contain a “fair balance” between the benefits and risks of the drug.  The FDA also regulates ads for restricted medical devices.

With respect to labeling, the FDA regulates labels for prescription drugs, as well as over-the-counter drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and food (except for meat and poultry, which is regulated by the U.S.D.A.’s Food Safety and Inspection Service).

The FDA also works together with the FTC to regulate the marketing of tobacco products.

The FDA has recently launched a Health Fraud Scams website designed to educate the public about health scams.  The site includes informational videos, a brochure in English and Spanish, information on compliance actions, press releases, and how to report a problem with an FDA-regulated product.


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