Health: FDA Approves First 3D-Printed Pill

What if you could customize pills to meet your needs? The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the production of the first 3D-printed pill, Spritam, developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals to control seizures of epilepsy patients. The pill is to launch during the first quarter of 2016. 3D printing is already being used to create customized implants for patients with injuries, and in dentistry to create dental implants. 3D printing creates the product layer by layer, which allows the medication to be packed more closely and in more precise doses. With 3D printing, medical institutions could pack up to 1,000 milligrams of medication into one pill that would dissolve in the same manner as other oral medicines. Aprecia said it planned to develop other pills using their 3D-printing platform. Dr. Mohamed Albed Alhnan, a lecturer in pharmaceutics at the University of Central Lancashire, said that, “for the first time this process means we can produce tablets much closer to the patient.” In other words, medical institutions would be able to adjust the dose for individual patients through a brief adjustment in the software before printing, which would accommodate the specific needs of the patient.

Contributor: Cristina Herrera

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