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FDA launches drug shortages mobile app

USregulator offers the public and HCPs Android and iPhone versions of the app

Digital pharmaRecognising the need to provide the public and healthcare professionals with easier access to information on drug shortages the FDA has launched its first mobile app dedicated to the subject.  

The US regulator's Drug Shortages app, available in free Android and iPhone versions, identify current shortages, those that have been resolved and drugs that have been discontinued.  

The apps can be used to report a suspected shortage or supply issue directly to the FDA, as well as to search or browse by a drug's generic name or active ingredient, and browse by therapeutic category.  

Valerie Jensen, associate director of the Drug Shortage Staff in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said: “The FDA understands that healthcare professionals and pharmacists need real-time information about drug shortages to make treatment decisions.  

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

The app's development is part of the FDA's ongoing efforts to reduce the effects of drug shortages. These have already seen the regulator create an online database of shortages that it updates on a daily basis.  

Some 18 months ago the FDA unveiled a strategic plan to tackle drug shortages, after a 2011 order from President Barack Obama to deal with a spate of shortage of crucial drugs, including cancer medicines over the last decade.  

The FDA's 2013 plan required manufacturers to provide it with early notice of any discontinuance or interruption of manufacturing likely to disrupt the supply of important prescription drugs.  

Between 2005 and 2011 the number of shortages quadrupled to 251. The focus by the FDA on the problem quickly saw some improvements, with just 117 shortages in 2012, but clearly there's still more to be done.

5th March 2015

From: Regulatory, Healthcare

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