NLM Creates Digital Archive of FDA Court Cases

A new National Library of Medicine resource provides a glimpse into the legal history of some of America’s best known consumer products, such as Coca Cola, as well as the evolution of clinical trial science and the social impact of medicine on health. The Library’s new resource is a digital archive of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) court case summaries. The FDA Notices of Judgment Collection includes cases of misleading advertising, mislabeled or hazardous products, and drugs which have been recalled. More than 6,800 cases are covered from 1940-1963. They include original-source materials such as correspondence, lab results, photographs, product samples and labels.

Currently only the Cosmetics and Drugs and Devices portions of the collection are available digitally. Future releases are planned for:

  • Foods and Drugs, 1908-1943 (31,000 cases/21,000 pages)
  • Foods, 1940-1966 (30,000 cases/9,800 pages)
  • Cosmetics, 1940-1964 (256 cases)

Created by the NLM’s Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program in the History of Medicine Division, the collection was developed jointly with the Lister Hill Center’s Communications Engineering Branch (CEB).