The US Food and Drug Administration has launched its first mobile app to provide the public and healthcare professionals with timely information on drug shortages. 

In 2013, there were 44 new drug shortages reported in the US, 35 of which involved sterile injectable drugs. Until now, the FDA has only communicated information on drug shortages through its website, but recognised the need for healthcare professionals and pharmacists to have access to real-time information to assist in treatment decisions.

“The new mobile app is an innovative tool that will offer easier and faster access to important drug shortage information,” said Valerie Jensen, associate director of the Drug Shortage Staff in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The app is available for free download via iTunes and the Google Play store, and users will be able to search or or browse by a drug’s generic name or active ingredient, and browse by therapeutic category. The app also allows suspected drug shortages or supply issues to be reported to the FDA.