3D printing has added one more feather in its cap. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for the first time a prescription drug which has been created using 3D printers. The drug is called Spritam and it has got approval to be used as an oral drug for patients suffering from epilepsy. This tablet which gets dissolved in water can treat children and adults alike. The drug has been developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals Co. Let us check out this post to know more about how the drug was created.
Aprecia Pharmaceuticals Co. developed the ZipDose Technology to create the drug. This technology uses 3D printing which is licensed from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With 3D printing technique, a permeable pill is developed that dissolves in water. This means that the patients don’t have to swallow the pill.
This is an important development as it is difficult to make patients swallow pills during seizures. Caretakers, who have trouble getting epileptic children to take medication, will be immensely benefitted by Spritam.
Don Wetherhold, chief executive at Aprecia said “The key to unlocking the potential of 3-D printing was designing and building that proprietary equipment. “
According to the company, its printing system has the potential to set strong drug doses of up to 1000mg into each tablet.
Other 3D Printing Processes
Apart from the epilepsy pill, Aprecia plans to develop a line of drugs which can treat other diseases of the central nervous system which could include schizophrenia, depression or Parkinson’s disease.
The way of manufacturing pills through 3D printing is very precise as the drugs are created layer-by-layer. According to Wetherhold, this process could help in the use of this technology in future, which includes extended release pills.
Wetherhold said “There’s a lot of capability to do unique things with 3-D printing.”
The company has a manufacturing facility in New Jersey and is developing a new one in Ohio. The validation of batches of Spritam has been completed and the company expects to release the drug in the market for use in the first quarter of 2016. The price of the drug is expected to be similar to other epilepsy drugs that are present in the market.
What do you think?
Do you think this is a major development for 3D printing? Is it safe to use a 3D printed drug? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image & Article Source – engadget.com