In the medical industry, you will hear that a company has been issued a 483 by the FDA. While most people are aware that this is a serious thing, many may not understand what, exactly, that means.
The FDA has the authority to visit a manufacturer for the purpose of inspecting the facility and verifying that all processes are in compliance with any applicable regulations. If the FDA inspector finds anything of concern, they are required to document those findings. This official documentation is done on Form #483 – also known as “483”.
The information captured on the 483 is the inspector’s observation. The information captured on a 483 is not a final decision from the FDA that a company is in violation of any regulations. The company receiving a 483 has 15 days in which to review the finding(s) and respond to the FDA with a course of action to correct the finding and/or to ask for clarification of the requirement being cited.
The 483(s), along with the Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) and supporting documentation from the visit, are presented to the FDA for further evaluation. With these details, the FDA will determine if any additional steps are required in order to protect the health of the general public. Should any further actions be necessary, the FDA will issue the company in question a Warning Letter. The Warning Letter is an indication of serious violation(s) by the company. Depending on the severity of the violation(s) and the responses provided by the company, product approval for could be withheld or even a forced closure of their facility.