FDA launches mobile version of drug information database

By Dave Muoio

The FDA has launched a free mobile app version of its Drugs@FDA online database that offers consumers information on agency-approved drugs. The new app, called Drugs@FDA Express, is free and currently available for download on iOS and Android.

“The FDA is continuously seeking ways to bring information to consumers in more accessible formats,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “Today, with the launch of the 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 agency’s new app allows users to browse approved brand and generic prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, as well as biological therapeutic products. After searching for a particular therapy by name, active ingredient, or application number, users can view submitted patient information, labeling, approval letters, reviews, and much of the other data held on-file by the agency.

The app also allows users to view a list of new approvals announced within the past seven days, a selection of frequently asked questions, a glossary, and contact for the FDA’s consumer information office, the Division of Drug Information.

The app is designed to be a streamlined version of the online database, according to the FDA, although some information such as labeling supplements and approval letters can only be viewed on the database’s website.

"Consumers are embracing digital health technologies to inform everyday decisions,” Gottlieb said. “From fitness trackers to mobile applications tracking insulin administration, these digital tools can empower consumers with a wealth of valuable health information. 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.”