A major component of the pharmaceutical industry is research and development. Companies that are able to adopt and apply the latest technology have the ability to create trends. PMMI’s 2016 Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Report highlights 6 technologies that are on the cutting edge of innovation:
1) Digestible Dosing Compliance
A digestible device that’s inserted into medication that’s “activated” when exposed to stomach acid. After the pill is swallowed, a small device in the pill relays health data to a patch worn by the patient and then to a smartphone. (Not yet approved)
2) Locking Blister Pack
A paperboard sleeve that “locks” to prevent child access. I wrote about IGBressan’s offering back in November, which comes with a key to unlock the box.
3) 3D-Printed Pills
3D-printing machine that produces highly porous pills that dissolve quicker in liquid and are easier to consume in large doses.
4) The Microneedle Pill
Drug capsule coated with tiny needles with the ability to inject drugs directly into the lining of the intestines. These could replace injections or drugs that need to be taken regularly. (No human trial yet)
5) Muco-adhesive Patches in Capsules
Small muco-adhesive patches are loaded into a capsule. When the capsule dissolves, the patches adhere to the intestinal wall and time-release drugs like insulin.
6) New Pill Machine
A refrigerator-sized machine capable of producing 1,000 pills every 24 hours. The continuous manufacturing process eliminates the need for time-consuming batch-based pill production. (In development by MIT/DoD)