1. Business

Could We Be On The Verge Of A New Era Of Home-Printed Pills – Safemedicate

Disclaimer: This is a user generated content submitted by a member of the WriteUpCafe Community. The views and writings here reflect that of the author and not of WriteUpCafe. If you have any complaints regarding this post kindly report it to us.

Many healthcare educators and practitioners with an interest in ensuring safe medication calculations may have taken an interest in a recent report by the i newspaper. The story in question focused on a breakthrough in 3D printer technology that could apparently allow for personalised pills containing tailored doses of multiple different medications to soon be made widely available. 

According to the report, developers have said that there is potential for 3D printed pills to transform healthcare for millions of Britons, by making it easier to provide the benefits of several different medications in a single tablet. 

What else do we know about this ‘breakthrough’ development? 

Scientific research into the development of 3D-printed medications has been ongoing for a number of years. In 2015, Aprecia Pharmaceuticals had Spritam (levetiracetam), an anti-epileptic drug, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and to date this is the first and only 3D-printed pharmaceutical made using Aprecia’s proprietary ZipDose technology. 

The i report suggests that it currently takes around three minutes to print a single pill but with extensive research ongoing at University College London (UCL), scientists have developed a new technique that shortens the process to just three seconds – and the i added that the scientists were confident of reducing this further, to less than a second. 

This, in turn, raises the prospect of doctors and pharmacists printing personalised pills for any of a broad range of conditions on-site while patients wait. And the scientists behind the technology have said that patients may eventually be able to print their own pills at home. 

A promising solution for the tailored dosing of medications?

With tailored doses of medications presently being rare due to the need to spend a long time preparing them by hand, i reported that such pioneering 3D printing technology could expand the range of possibilities beyond one-size-fits-all pills. The ability to more easily and rapidly tailor doses could particularly help maximise the effectiveness of treatments for such patient groups as children and the elderly. 

UCL scientist Alvaro Goyanes stated that: “This could really be a game-changer for the pharmaceutical industry. Personalised 3D-printed medicines are evolving at a rapid pace. They are starting to reach the clinic for trials and in a best-case scenario they could be used in the health service in three to five years.” 

However, for many patients, a one-size-fits-all or standardised approach to the dosing of their medication is not necessarily a concern. Sheng Qi – Professor of pharmaceutical material science and technology at the University of East Anglia (long-term users of safeMedicate) – argues that while new techniques for the 3D printing of tablets “will definitely improve the care and treatment for certain groups – such as patients with rare diseases,” it will not replace most medications. This view is echoed by Steve Tomlin, chief pharmacist at Great Ormond Street, who is keen to implement the technology for trials at the hospital though believes that in the first instance it will be of value for only a minority of drugs; that current standardised strengths of medications will work for most patients.

To help improve medication effectiveness and safety, turn to safeMedicate 

3D-printing of medications is clearly an exciting and potentially effective means of producing personalised doses of medications for certain patient groups and conditions. However, for the immediate future, many drugs will still be prescribed and dispensed in a standardised dose form meaning that the ability to safely and accurately calculate the dose to be given to a patient will remain a critical skill for the healthcare practitioner.

The safeMedicate learning and assessment environment provides healthcare students and practitioners with the ability to develop, assess and maintain their dosage calculation competence. With over 500 unique medications and 44,000 authentic dosage problems covering a broad range of clinical systems and over 500 clinical indications, safeMedicate is the market leading resource used internationally by almost half a million users. 

To learn more about the difference that can be made to your own medication practices by the safeMedicate suite of programs, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

 

0

Login

Welcome to WriteUpCafe Community

Join our community to engage with fellow bloggers and increase the visibility of your blog.
Join WriteUpCafe