March 26, 2018 – The FDA recently announced the availability of a mobile app, “Drugs@FDA Express,” to provide consumers with an easy way to search for information about FDA-approved brand and generic prescription and over-the-counter drugs and biologics.
“Consumers are embracing digital health technologies to inform everyday decisions. From fitness trackers to mobile applications tracking insulin administration, these digital tools can empower consumers with a wealth of valuable health information,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Advancing mobile apps that inform people about their health and medical choices represents a significant public health opportunity and is a high priority for the FDA.”
The time is right for a reliable and easily accessed consumer information source, according to Coalition for Healthcare Communication Executive Director John Kamp. “FDA is more fully utilizing its own resources and the increasing use of apps to extend its reach. Let’s hope that’s a good sign that next we’ll see more progressive rules enabling widespread industry use of apps to educate doctors and patients.”
The FDA currently offers the Drugs@FDA webpage, which included information about drug products approved by the agency; Drugs@FDA Express mobile app is a streamlined version of that site, allowing users to search on their mobile devices for certain product information based on product name, active ingredient or the application number using a single search box.
Although the app is not as comprehensive as the webpage (e.g., the app does not include labeling supplements or approval letters), it will feature the most recent product approvals (within seven days) and links to the Drugs@FDA glossary and FAQs, as well as contact information for the FDA consumer information office and the Division for Drug Information.
“The FDA is continuously seeking ways to bring information to consumers in more accessible formats,” Gottlieb said. “Today, with the launch of Drugs@FDA Express mobile app, we’re bringing the public important information about drugs in an easy-to-use, mobile format. We hope that by making this important health information more easily accessible we can help empower patients and providers in making their treatment decisions.”
The new FDA app can be downloaded via iTunes (for Apple devices) and Google Play (for android devices).