3D Printing to Usher in Era of Customized Medication
The FDA has officially approved a new anti-seizure medication, which may not seem newsworthy, but this new medication, Spirtam, is the first-ever 3D-printed medication to gain FDA approval. Like so many other 3D-printed applications, this form of the drug can not be produced using conventional methods.
ZipDose, the 3D printing technology developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, uses a method similar to traditional 3D printing technology – “each pill is built layer-by-layer to form a porous material with a precisely tuned dose of the medication” according to Extreme Tech. “Take a sip of water, and the pill dissolves, delivering up to 1000mg of the active ingredient.”
ZipDose doesn’t use compression forces or traditional molding techniques, but instead bonds the powdered medication layers with liquid droplets of an aqueous fluid. Aprecia believes producing pills using this technology allows patients and caregivers to administer medication quickly and conveniently due to its rapid disintegration and the taste-masked aspects of this delivery method. Healthcare providers can also be confident in prescribing high-dose, highly prescribed medications that are precisely dosed and easy to take, according to their website.
Aprecia expects to have Spiritam on the US market by the end of 2016.