To ensure I was understanding how openFDA works, I have been checking my queries against the searchable medical device recall database the FDA already has (http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfRES/res.cfm). I am currently trying the following query: https://api.fda.gov/device/enforcement.json?search=insulin&limit=80 and getting 56 results back. A similar query at the FDA database simply searching for "insulin" in product description gives back 117 results.

I understand that some of the newest device recalls will not be in openFDA yet, but I can't figure out why others are missing. For example, a recall for "OneTouch(R) Ping(R) Insulin Pump glucose management system" posted April 6, 2012 with event ID 61436 found on the FDA database is not in openFDA. I have tried searching by event ID in openFDA as well as searching by name and it's not showing up. I have found other examples as well from 2009

What am I missing here? Why don't these show up in an openFDA query for "insulin?"

  • @SeanHerron should be able to help here (message sent). Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 13:22
  • That would be great!
    – Rob
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


Couple things possibly at play but this is not a complete answer. I noticed that there are reports form 2003 on the FDA site you are referencing and ones from October 2014. Both sets (and only a handful) are not found in the API.

A litte deeper digging I queried Monoject and could not find any of the recalls associated with them in the API return - http://www.researchae.com/recalls?reporttype=device&from_date=2000-01-01&to_date=2014-11-30&search=Monoject

Not sure the reason for this but did notice some missing ones as well.

  • Thanks for looking Brian, I understand that new records and old records will not be in the API, I'm more interested in why the ones mentioned above don't show up.
    – Rob
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 13:42

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