FDA Studies Drug Inspections Using Drone Technology

FDA Studies Drug Inspections Using Drone Technology

December 26th, 2014 // 5:24 pm @

FDA is looking into the use of airborne drones to help it to conduct cGMP inspections of drug and device facilities.

There is not any formal drone program in place or being developed, FDA is looking at the feasibility of using drones for certain drug inspection applications.

If FDA decides to use drones for FDA audits in some cases, this could have major implications for the drug industry. A drug manufacturing plant may be able to be more easily surveyed from the air and could more easily look at areas that are hard to access. This could include rooftops.

At this time, feasibility for drone inspections is in an early stage. According to an email that was sent to FDA staff in December, the current program is being studied by the Office of Informatics and Technology Innovation. This is being overseen by the Chief Health Informatics Officer Taha Kass Hout.

That official has been at the center of several FDA efforts to better leverage modern technology to benefit the agency and the public. This includes the new OpenFDA website, which lets the public to track recall data by FDA more esily.

FDA stated in the email that it plans to do a test of this drone technology at the main FDA campus in Maryland soon.

FDA also wrote that it intends to use drones specifically for drug manufacturing sites, and also for land area inspections.

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