Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > Stubborn Drug Shortages Lead FDA to Develop Consumer-Focused Mobile App

Stubborn Drug Shortages Lead FDA to Develop Consumer-Focused Mobile App

Posted 31 October 2013 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC

Got drug shortages? There will soon be an app for that, say US regulators.

In a press call on 31 October 2013, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials said they are in the process of developing mobile applications that can tell end users-practicing physicians and pharmacists, mostly-when a drug they currently use or might potentially use is going to experience a disruption in its supply.

"We're developing a smartphone app to provide real-time information on shortages to patients and providers," said Douglas Throckmorton deputy director of regulatory programs at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER).

The app will complement the agency's website, which currently hosts an extensive list of drug shortages listed by name, therapeutic category and current shortage status.

"One thing we are working on is a smartphone app which would be available for people to access. What they would be able to do then is receive targeted information. So, for pediatrics or certain groups where you might want information just for your own practice and the patients you treat, you would have that type of information related to [those specific shortage]," Valerie Jensen, associate director of CDER's Drug Shortages Program, said.

Both Throckmorton and Jensen said the overarching goal was to make it easier for end users to make use of the information FDA collects.

Neither gave any timeline for the app's release date.

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