Manufacture of First 3D Printed Drug begins, with Launch expected in 2016


3d printed drugWell, we have seen it all with 3D printing.  From rhino horns aimed at curbing poaching to 3D printed super cars. Remember the Japanese man arrested for 3D printing guns? ooh and the upcoming 3D printed building in Dubai? me too.  Currently, 3D printing largely caters for novelty applications.  According to Juniper Research, the sale of consumer 3D printers is expected to pass 1 million units in 2018. As of 2014, the number of units sold to consumers stands at 44,000.  The long-term success of 3D printing is however pegged on creating public awareness.

In the spirit of creating public awareness and innovation, the World is set to see the first 3D printed pill. The new drug, manufactured by a United States Pharmaceuticals company called Aprecia is aimed at controlling seizures brought by epilepsy and is called Spritam. The US Food and Drug Administration, the industry regulator has already given the go ahead for the manufacture of the drug. The company has said it will use 3D in the manufacture of other drugs in the future.

The use of 3D in drug manufacture will allows of the drugs to me manufactured in precise dosages, whereby layers of medication are packaged to the point. Printing the drug will allow for the packaging of up to 1,000 miligrams into tablets according to BBC.  The drugs will dissolve in the same manners as other oral medication. The drug is set to launch in the first quarter of 2016, with the firm saying 3D printing the drugs will allow for the manufacture of drugs based on the needs of the patient, unlike the “bill fits all” model used now. Much of the medical progress with regards to 3D printing achieved now is in creation of prosthetics and implants.