FDA Adverse Event Reporting System

FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS)

FDA adverse event reporting system (FAERS)
FDA adverse event reporting system (FAERS)

What is the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains a comprehensive database and monitoring system called the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). It collects and stores reports from healthcare professionals, patients, consumers, and drug manufacturers.

These reports are used to track adverse events and medication errors related to prescription and over-the-counter drugs, biologics, medical devices, and dietary supplements.

FAERS plays a vital role in post-market surveillance, helping the FDA identify safety concerns unusual side effects, and emerging drug and product safety trends This data-driven system by the regulatory body to monitor and maintain the ongoing safety of medical products on the market.

It also supports international collaboration and research efforts while promoting transparency and public access to de-identified data.

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FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) is a useful tool for FDA to monitor various activities. FDA Adverse event reporting requirements include:

  • Looking out for new safety concerns that might be related to a marketed product
  • Evaluating a manufacturer’s compliance to reporting regulations
  • Responding to outside requests for information

An adverse event can be defined as any side effect or unexpected experience witnessed by humans with the use of a drug or other therapeutic biologic, irrespective of its relation to the use of the product. An adverse event could occur:

  • with use in professional practice
  • due to lack of expected effectiveness
  • from accidental or intentional overdose
  • from drug or product withdrawal
  • from excessive use or abuse of product usage

All adverse events and medication errors are coded based on the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA) terminology. FDA established FAERS to handle reports of the following nature:

  • Unexpected complications or side effects, including skin rashes to any serious complications
  • Defects or other quality problems as a result of product performance
  • Potentially avoidable mistakes that can be caused due to packaging or labels that look similar, or usage difficulty due to the presence of hard-to-read displays or controls
  • Food concerns, including allergic reactions or illness
  • Medical device therapeutic failures

Consumers who wish to report an adverse event to FDA can do so using the online reporting form insteading of expecting the healthcare provider to report to FDA. The report will include personal information about the consumer, product details, problem or reaction, and any other medical treatments or outcome. To submit voluntary adverse events reports, consumers can follow any of the following methods:

  • Online reports
  • Call FDA by telephone at 1-800-FDA-1088
  • Fax or email Consumer Reporting Form FDA 3500B
  • Reporting Form FDA 3500

Why FDA Adverse Event Reporting System?

Clinical reviewers evaluate the reports in FAERS in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) to monitor products’ safety after the FDA approves them.

If a potential safety concern is discovered in FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS), further evaluation is performed. Based on the evaluation, FDA may take regulatory action(s) to improve product safety and protect public health, such as:

  • Restricting the use of the drug
  • Updating a product’s labeling information
  • Communicating new safety information to the public
  • Removing a product from the market
  • Issuing new safety alerts
  • Inspecting the product manufacturer
  • Ordering further studies to demonstrate product safety

FDA regulates several products across industries. FAERS can be used to report any of the following products:

  • OTC and other human prescription drugs
  • Medical devices
  • Radiation emitting electronic devices
  • Vaccines
  • Veterinary products
  • Tobacco products
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Who can use the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System to submit a report?

    The reports submitted through FAERS are evaluated based on clinical reviewers’ various parameters in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) and the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). Reports can be submitted to FAERS by:

  • Consumers, including patients, lawyers, family members
  • Manufacturers
  • Healthcare professionals, including nurses, physicians, and pharmacists

Further, manufacturers can receive reports from consumers and healthcare professionals. If a manufacturer is in receipt of such reports, they are required to send the report based on the regulations specified by the FDA.

FAERS reports can be submitted online, through a consumer reporting form such as FDA 3500B, or through telephone. Some of the FDA regulated products are:

  • Cosmetics

  • Combination products

  • Medical devices

  • Special nutritional products

  • Biologics

  • Prescriptions or over-the-counter medications

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Roles of FDA Adverse Event Reporting System in Organizations

FAERS public dashboard is user-friendly as it offers data based on query in the form of information and charts. The data is also searchable based on product or timeframe. The data from FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) is available readily to the public in various forms, including highly interactive web-based FAERS dashboard, extracted FAERS data files of individual case safety reports from FAERS database, and individual safety files that can be acquired through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to FDA.

  • Monitor new events and medication error in new products
  • Measure harm from medications
  • Ascertain the risk-benefit ratio to determine the continuity of the drug
  • Monitor safety of product after FDA’s approval

ComplianceQuest goes above and beyond!

We implemented ComplianceQuest (CQ) to replace our previous Complaint Management System. From the very first day, CQ went above and beyond to help provide expertise on how to automate our business processes in CQ, providing insight into how to properly migrate data to CQ, all while ensuring that our new processes were FDA compliant. They worked day and night to ensure our requirements were met.

Great people, Great product, and Great Service. I highly recommend ComplianceQuest to all.

Jamal Austin,
Project Manager / Business Analyst,

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How to handle FAERS reports with ComplianceQuest?

FDA and ISO compliant environments are stringent about non-conformance of product, material, or component. Nonconformance and elimination of its cause are critical to an organization’s quality system. Failure to conform or report to FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) can lead to costly rework or a product recall. With CQ Nonconformance Management Solution, companies can capture, triage, investigate and dispose of all non-conformances in a timely and effective manner. Our primary goal, in addition to reducing CoQ, is to capture and act on a nonconformance before it leaves the organization and reaches a customer.

handle FAERS reports with ComplianceQuest

Using FAERS data to identify, capture, prioritize, investigate and resolve all non-conformances in an efficient manner to reduce COQ capture and take action on non-conformances before it leaves the organization with CQ's non-conformance management solution

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Identifying and managing product and process Nonconformance and eliminating its cause is critical to an organization’s quality system. This is especially pertinent in the stringent FDA and ISO-compliant environments, where a non-conforming product, material, or component could lead to costly rework, or worse, a product recall. CQ’s primary goal, in addition to reducing CoQ, is to capture and act on a nonconformance before it leaves the organization and reaches a customer.

    • Reduce CoQ due to internal failures with a collaborative approach to nonconformance management, organization can prevent any variance to process, parts, or equipment and ensure periodic training of shop floor workers to align to the ever-changing quality parameters.

    • Leverage Einstein predictive analytics to spot nonconformance trends and draw insights from data, escalate to a CAPA ahead of time and drive Continuous Improvement (CI) of the entire quality management process.

    • Catch nonconformance early before it reaches a customer and prevents a potential injury for the end-user, avoid unnecessary penalties/fines and protect brand image.

    • With robust process control to reduce quality gaps and conform to product specifications, attain greater customer satisfaction by reducing client objections.

    • CQ’s EQMS automates ISO and FDA-compliance using a risk-based approach to prioritize nonconformances and initiate corrections.

    • Using an integrated Risk Management Module, automate nonconformance management workflows to identify, document, and prevent nonconformances, with a specific focus on high-risk nonconformances to minimize risk.

  • An adverse event is any unintented experience a patient encounter upon using a medical product. Some of the most prominent ones include death, life-threatening symptoms, disability or permanent damage, hospitalization, or congenital anomaly. FDA recommends patients and medical device users to report these cases to take action.


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