OpenFDA API, with Excel:


FDA has made their databases more open to developers and businesses alike through From their website, “The goal of the project is to create easy access to public data, to create a new level of openness and accountability, to ensure the privacy and security of public FDA data, and ultimately to educate the public and save lives.

I have created an Excel interface that does not use a JSON library, and allows the user to perform searches based on multiple criteria. This interface will also allow the user to download the data for further manipulation.

A basic screenshot is shown below. Please note that, currently this is applicable only for Medical Devices Adverse Events.


The user has to enter the required information into the yellow cells. The query is based on a “count” criterion. It is also important to note the “Keyword” search as well. I have found this to be quite useful, when I was playing around.

If the query criteria will yield results, the “FINAL HYPERLINK” cell will turn green. If the query results produce a null, the cell will turn red. The user can also click on the hyperlink to view the results in a browser.

The count criteria are shown below.


Based on the data input, the user clicks on the “CLICK HERE” button, and it will perform the query, and download the dataset to another sheet. This is shown below. I have used the FDA disclaimer section from the results, for my data page.

The speed of the query has been pretty impressive.


If the count selected is “date received”, the program will automatically parse the data and create a run chart along with the data sheet. This is shown below. The user can further manipulate the dates to weeks or months run chart.


Interested in R functions?

I have also created several functions in R to query and download the data to a .csv file. If there is an interest for this, I can certainly share them.

Feedback request:

I am interested in getting feedback from the users. If there are ideas to improve this further, please provide me feedback. You can reach me at


This program must be used at your own risk. I do not guarantee accuracy of the data. All the data is acquired through OpenFDA’s API. The data is updated frequently. The “update” information is shown as part of the dataset.


You can download the spreadsheet here (.xls format).

Always keep on learning…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s