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FDA approves first 3D-printed pill, could signal era of custom medication

07.08.2015 | ExtremeTech | www.extremetech.com

A new anti-seizure medication has become the first-ever 3D-printed medication to gain FDA approval.

The FDA has been pulled along into the future in recent years as prosthetics and other medical devices have been pumped out of 3D printers, but never before has the technology proven so integral to the production of a pill. This form of the drug, called Spritam, wouldn’t work with conventional production methods.

FDA approved first 3D printed pill

Traditional 3D printing with plastics is done by heating a polymer, then applying it layer by layer to build an object. The 3D printing technology (called ZipDose) developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals isn’t much different. Each pill is built layer-by-layer to form a porous material with a precisely tuned dose of the medication. Take a sip of water, and the pill dissolves, delivering up to 1000 mg of the active ingredient.

Aprecia Pharmaceuticals sees Spritam as just the first step into the world of 3D printing pills. Spritam is a single active ingredient, but 3D printing could make it possible for medications to be custom made for patients, even if they require high dosages. Rather than taking multiple different pills with a few hundred milligrams of active ingredients, the pharmacy of the future could simply 3D print a single pill that has all those drugs in a single dose.

Read more at ExtremeTech

Image Credit: Aprecia Pharmaceuticals

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