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3D Printed Pharmaceuticals

The epilepsy drug Spritam (pictured below) recently became the first 3D printed drug to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Spritam’s manufacturer, Aprecia Pharmaceuticals Headquartered in the UK, says that it makes the oral medication through a three-dimensional printing process, which builds the pill by spreading layers of the drug on top of one another until the right dose is reached.

Aprecia Pharmaceuticals’ Photo

This technique allows the pill to deliver a higher dose of medicine, up to 1000 mg, while being porous enough to rapidly dissolve. These attributes can be particularly beneficial for patients who have difficulty swallowing their medication, which can affect adherence to treatment regimens. 

See the printing simulation here: https://vimeo.com/189056131?from=outro-embed

One of the key benefits of the 3D Printing process is the ability to combine multiple functionalities in a single tablet, such as pre-gastric absorption, two or more APIs, modified release profiles, rapid dispersion in the oral cavity or alternative delivery sites. This allows multi-drug pill formulations for clinical trials and tailored patient treatment strategies. Additionally, 3D Printing enables real-time support for clinical trials.

Is 3D Pharmaceutical printing a “paradigm changer”? It certainly looks like it to me, as every Hospital and clinic will want a 3D Pharmaceutical Printer System to speed patient treatment and improve treatment success.

What do you think?