FDA approves world’s first 3D printed pill (VIDEO)


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has green-lighted a drug manufactured with 3D printers.

Image credit: http://www.spritam.com/
Image credit: http://www.spritam.com/

The new drug, dubbed Spritam, was developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals to control seizures brought on by epilepsy.

The 3D printing technique creates a porous pill that quickly dissolves with water, so patients do not have to swallow it.

This new type of pill is made by 3D printing layers of the powdered drug, binding the layers of powder together, and then blowing away the excess powder.

“By combining 3DP technology with a highly-prescribed epilepsy treatment, 2 SPRITAM is designed to fill a need for patients who struggle with their current medication experience,” said Don Wetherhold, Chief Executive Officer of Aprecia, in a media release.

“This is the first in a line of central nervous system products Aprecia plans to introduce as part of our commitment to transform the way patients experience taking medication.”

The pill is printed with Aprecia’s so-called “ZipDose” technology which it developed using the 3DP technology that originated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.).

The Ohio-based company says its printing system can package potent drug doses of up to 1,000mg into individual pills. It expects to launch Spritam in the first quarter of 2016.

“In my experience, patients and caregivers often have difficulty following a treatment regimen. Whether they are dealing with a swallowing disorder or the daily struggle of getting a child to take his or her medication, adherence can be a challenge,” said Marvin H. Rorick III, M.D., neurologist at Riverhills Neuroscience in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Especially for children and seniors, having an option for patients to take their medication as prescribed is important to managing this disease.”

The company said it plans to manufacture other medications using its 3D platform in the future.