FDA launches 2016 Naloxone App Competition with aim to combat opioid overdose through app

FDA launches 2016 Naloxone App Competition that aims to combat opioid overdose through app

The US Food and Drug Administration has announced a competition, titled ‘2016 Naloxone App Competition’, with an aim to combat opioid overdoses.

Under the competition that will run from Friday through October 7, computer programmers, public health advocates, clinical researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs have been asked to create an app that connects the one suffering from an opioid overdose to the closest supply of naloxone.

Naloxone is a reversal drug that neutralizes the effect of heroin, additive painkillers and he synthetic opioid fentanyl. The drug, which is available through prescription, is available with first responders in majority of the states. With the app, the ones carrying the drug would be alerted when someone would need naloxone.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf was of the view, “With a dramatic increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths in the US, there's a vital need to harness the power of new technologies to quickly and effectively link individuals experiencing an overdose ... with someone who carries and can administer the life-saving medication”.

Peter Lurie, Associate CommissionerFor Public Health Strategy and Analysis, said that every second counts when a person is passing through overdose phase. Through the app, they are just trying to make sure that there is effective use of naloxone. The goal of the app is to meet supply with demand.

Another benefit that will be derived through the app is access to an elusive population. Opioids are illegal and due to this reason, many people do not visit pharmacy and ask for naloxone. Through this app, people can remain private and still be informed. Lurie said that the aim is to develop a cost-effective, scalable, crowd-source mobile application.


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