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Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law Research Guide

This research guide assists with research in food, drug, and cosmetic law, in particular federal law arising since the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and subsequent regulations.


Subject Headings

The following subject headings can be used to search in library catalogs for relevant materials:

  • United States. Food and Drug Administration
  • Food law and legislation -- United States
  • Drugs -- Law and legislation -- United States
  • Pharmacy -- Law and legislation -- United States
  • Pharmaceutical industry -- United States
  • Drug development -- United States
  • Cosmetics -- Law and legislation -- United States

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This guide is designed to provide an introduction to researching the area of Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law, and focuses heavily on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (e.g., regulations, guidance, administrative decisions), the administrative agency primarily tasked with enforcing food, drug, and cosmetic law and regulations. The FDA is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services and consists of the Office of the Commissioner and four directorates overseeing the core functions of the agency: Medical Products and Tobacco, Foods, Global Regulatory Operations and Policy, and Operations.

Getting Started

The following sources provide a good introduction to food, drug, and cosmetic law:

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Food and Drug Administration

The FDA's website is a great resource for consumers and industry professionals. It provides news and regulatory updates on all the areas overseen by the regulation divided topically:

Update History

Updated 5/2013 (ET)
Updated 6/2014 (SG)

Updated 3/2021 (MK)