FDA Launches Competition to Help Reduce Opioid Overdose Deaths

The contest will ideally stimulate development of an app to connect those experiencing an overdose with help

The FDA has announced the 2016 Naloxone App Competition, a contest focused on developing innovative technologies to combat the rise of opioid overdose, according to a release.

The agency is inviting computer programmers, public health advocates, clinical researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators to create a mobile phone application that can connect opioid users experiencing an overdose with nearby carriers of naloxone, the antidote for opioid overdose.

This builds on the FDA’s Opioids Action Plan, designed to reduce the impact of opioid misuse, dependence and overdose.

“With a dramatic increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths in the U.S., there’s a vital need to harness the power of new technologies to quickly and effectively link individuals experiencing an overdose – or a bystander such as a friend or family member – with someone who carries and can administer the life-saving medication,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “Through this competition, we are tapping public health-focused innovators to help bring technological solutions to a real-world problem that is costing the U.S. thousands of lives each year.”

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