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FDA launches app that lets you search for drug information

Continuing the agency's foray into digital health, the Drugs@FDA Express app promises to help people search for information about FDA-approved drugs.

Abrar Al-Heeti Video producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read
Older woman checking prescription with cell phone

The Food and Drug Administration has launched the Drugs@FDA Express mobile app, which lets people search for information about FDA-approved drugs and therapeutic products.


As the Food and Drug Administration continues to dip its toes into digital health, it announced on Thursday the launch of the Drugs@FDA Express mobile app, which lets people search for information about FDA-approved brand-name and generic drugs and therapeutic products.

"Consumers are embracing digital health technologies to inform everyday decisions," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a release. "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 agency already has a Drugs@FDA website, which in addition to providing information about approved drug products also includes things like approval letters, drug labeling and reviews. The app is a streamlined version of this, and doesn't show information such as approval letters. 

The FDA has been establishing a track record on digital health, approving or clearing technologies such as a "digital drug" that tracks if you take your meds, an Apple Watch band that checks on-the-spot EKG readings and a mobile insulin dosing tool. It also launched its precertification pilot program last year, designed for companies that want to speed up the clearance process for future medical devices. Some of the companies selected for that program include Apple, Samsung and Fitbit.  

People can use the Drugs@FDA Express app, available on the App Store and Google Play, to look up product information using product name, active ingredient or application number. The app will also feature recent product approvals within seven days, links to the Drugs@FDA glossary and frequently asked questions.

"We hope that by making this important health information more easily accessible," Gottlieb said, "we can help empower patients and providers in making their treatment decisions."

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