About Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs)

The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority allows FDA to help strengthen the nation’s public health protections against CBRN threats by facilitating the availability and use of MCMs needed during public health emergencies. 

Under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), the FDA Commissioner may allow unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions caused by CBRN threat agents when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.

Section 564 of the FD&C Act was amended by the Project Bioshield Act of 2004 and was further amended by the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 (PAHPRA), the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, and Public Law 115-92 of 2017.

Please note: a determination under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act that a public health emergency exists, such as the one issued on January 31, 2020, does not enable FDA to issue EUAs. A separate determination and declaration are needed under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to enable FDA to issue EUAs, provided other statutory criteria are met.

Information on terminated and revoked EUAs can be found in archived information.

Guidance

In January 2017, FDA finalized the guidance: Emergency Use Authorization of Medical Products and Related Authorities. For more information, please see the January 13, 2017 Federal Register notice.

Printable PDF (288 KB)

In addition, in January 2014, FDA issued a question and answer document (PDF, 762K) to respond to questions raised by public health stakeholders about PAHPRA’s amendments to the EUA authority and establishment of new authorities related to the emergency use of MCMs during CBRN emergencies.

In Vitro Diagnostic Products

On February 4, 2020, the HHS Secretary determined that there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves the virus that causes COVID-19. On the basis of this determination, the Secretary then declared that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of the virus that causes COVID-19. The EUAs subsequently issued by FDA are listed in the table below this blue box.

In continuing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 24, 2020, and based on the February 4, 2020 HHS EUA determination, the HHS Secretary declared that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of medical devices, including alternative products used as medical devices, due to shortages during the COVID-19 outbreak. EUAs for home collection kits reference this declaration.

On February 29, 2020, the FDA issued an immediately in effect guidance with policy specific to development of in vitro diagnostic tests during this public health emergency. This guidance was updated on March 16, 2020, May 4, 2020, and May 11, 2020.

CDC has granted a right of reference to the performance data contained in CDC’s EUA (FDA submission number EUA200001) to any entity seeking an FDA EUA for a COVID-19 diagnostic device.

Templates for these EUA submissions are available to help facilitate the preparation, submission, and authorization of an EUA.

If you need additional information, please refer to the FAQs on Diagnostic Testing for SARS-CoV-2 and CLIA and University Laboratory Testing FAQ (CMS)