FDA launches drug shortages app

pharmafile | March 6, 2015 | News story | Medical Communications, Sales and Marketing Apple, FDA, app, drug, google, play, recall, shortages 

The US Food and Drug Administration has launched its first smartphone app which provides valuable information about drug shortages.

The app identifies current treatment unavailability, resolved shortages and withdrawals of drug products.

“The FDA understands that healthcare professionals and pharmacists need real-time information about drug shortages to make treatment decisions,” says Valerie Jensen, who is the associate director of the drug shortage staff at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

“The new mobile app is an innovative tool that will offer easier and faster access to important drug shortage information.”

The app is specifically designed to speed access to important data and gives users the chance to search or browse by a drug’s generic name or active ingredient. 

The regulatory body developed the offering – which is available to download via the Google Play store and iTunes – as part of its Strategic Plan for Preventing and Mitigating Drug Shortages.

Users can search or browse by a drug’s generic name, active ingredient, or by therapeutic category. The app can also be used to report a suspected drug shortage or supply issue to the FDA.

The FDA’s app launch comes just weeks after findings from a Makovsky/Kelton ‘Pulse of Online Health’ survey revealed that Americans are ready to embrace health apps and wearable devices.

The study of over 1,000 US people aged 18 and over found that 66% of them would use a mobile app to manage health-related issues. Tracking diet/nutrition was revealed to be top of the agenda for users in the survey.

Pharma is looking to realise the full potential that this type of digital technology offers, only last year GlaxoSmithKline trialled mobile health (mHealth) devices in clinical trials.

More recently Novartis entered a $100,000 agreement with US investment company Qualcomm Ventures to focus on assisting early-stage companies with their technologies, products and services.

Tom Robinson

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