FY 2013 483 Data Released; Top Ten Observations Unchanged

The US FDA released enforcement data from fiscal year 2013. The data provides the total number of Form 483 Inspectional Observations, the most common pre-enforcement tool used by the agency, for the prior year. Comparing the new data to fiscal year 2012 provides insight into the Agency’s enforcement priorities. The informal review below again shows the majority of top observations remains unchanged for the past several years. The trap is set for 2014 for facilities not taking note of the trends.

This year’s report changes a trend of increasing inspectional observations. The total Form 483s issued was down for the first time with the FDA issuing 747 fewer form 483s in 2013 than in 2012. The likely culprit is the government shutdown in October. In the three major categories, drugs, devices, and food/dietary supplements only devices saw an increase in the number of Form 483s issued. The table is below.

Total 483s Food Device Drugs
2012 5797 3057 1090 787
2013 5050 2386 1099 690
747 671 -9 97


This year’s report again shows the top ten observations in the three major categories review was largely unchanged. The top ten in food/dietary supplements remained completely unchanged. This has been the trend for the past several years. The top ten for food/dietary supplements will likely remain consistent until new Food Safety Modernization Act changes begin to appear. The lesson for food/dietary supplement facilities is to inspect the top-ten observations and plan accordingly.

Both device and drug saw some changes in the top-ten observations. The device category’s top five observations were the same as 2012. The only change was to #9, which previously was investigations of device failures, is now maintenance of the Master Device Record (MDR). Investigations of device failures fell four places to #14 on the top observation list.

3130 21 CFR 820.100(a) 378 Lack of or inadequate procedures
14713 21 CFR 820.198(a) 245 Lack of or inadequate complaint procedures
3696 21 CFR 820.100(b) 133 Documentation
546 21 CFR 820.75(a) 127 Lack of or inadequate process validation
630 21 CFR 803.17 124 Lack of Written MDR Procedures
479 21 CFR 820.50 110 Purchasing controls, Lack of or inadequate procedures
3282 21 CFR 820.90(a) 98 Nonconforming product,

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Marc Sanchez

Marc Sanchez

Marc is dedicated to helping his clients navigate the complex world of FDA and USDA legislation. He represents FDA-regulated companies in the food, dietary supplement, beverage, cosmetic, medical device, and drug industries.

Marc is the author of two textbooks and a lecturer at Northeastern University. He is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the D.C. Bar Association.

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