3D Printed Pharmaceuticals

Categories: technology, social
Tags: science, medicine, 3D printing

What? In April 2016, Aprecia Pharmaceuticals received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the world's first 3D-printed pharmaceutical, a version of the company's epilepsy drug Spritam. The drug was previously produced as a large, difficult to swallow pill. The 3D-printed version, however, dissolves almost instantaneously in the mouth.

So What? The FDA approval of the first 3D-printed drug opens the way for more drugs to be manufactured this way. The 3D-printing of drugs could fuel the trend towards individualized medicine, with drug dosages customized for individual patients. Similarly, with 3D printing, multiple drugs could be combined into one pill, which by making patients' lives easier might also greatly increase drug-taking compliance, a major problem in health care. If 3D-drug printing technology becomes widely available and cost-effective, it is possible that this will open the pharmaceutical manufacturing market to smaller, niche players, especially in the case of generic drugs.

Source: Futurism - First 3D-Printed Drug Just Unveiled—Welcome to the Future of Medicine

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