In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Wednesday it is suspending all domestic routine surveillance facility inspections for food, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
The agency said the inspections being postponed are those for facilities that it traditionally conducts every few years based on a risk analysis.
“Importantly, all domestic for-cause inspection assignments will be evaluated and will proceed if mission-critical,” the FDA said. “We will continue to respond to natural disasters, outbreaks and other public health emergencies involving FDA-regulated products.”
The agency also said it would look at other ways of conducting its inspections such as “evaluating records in lieu of conducting an onsite inspection on an interim basis when travel is not permissible, when appropriate.”
Last week, the agency said it was suspending most inspections of overseas manufacturers that import food, pharmaceuticals and medical devices to the United States through April.
The federal agency had previously suspended inspections in China.