Safe Use App-ens

Late last year the FDA announced it’s “Safe Use of Drugs” Program. The theory behind the concept of safe use is that drugs can be made “safer” through patient education. A medical product “used as directed” is “safer.”

As former FDA Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein said, “The aim of the Safe Use Initiative is to identify specific preventable problems related to medication use and identify specific metrics that can measure progress; and to do it all by developing collaborations.”

Patient education is one thing – how to deliver that information is something else. And in the 21st century that means smart phones, tablets, and … mobile apps.

Consider the value of HIPAA-compliant Mobile Health Library (MHL) and the patient user experience.

For one prescription medicine (anonymous here due to client confidentiality), physicians who prescribed the drug also “prescribed” a brand-specific Patient Support App from Mobile Health Library – with important results.

After an initial test period, 4,062 distinct content engagement experiences by 1,200 patients (who received the brand-specific app at time of prescription) interactions with educational content related to Brand Safety Information ranked highest (42%) followed by educational content “about brand” (30%) and educational content “about condition/diagnosis” (28%). 

Per Sharfstein, “Partnerships will be important in the Safe Use Initiative. Clearly the clinical community is an important partner. Pharmacies have a very important role. Insurers should be engaged as they have the access to patients and know what is being prescribed. Pharmaceutical companies also have a vested interest in seeing their medicines used well.”

When it comes to making safe use a reality – mind the MHL app.

Peter J. Pitts

Chief Regulatory Officer

Adherent Health, LLC

Chairman, MHL Standards & Practices Committee