Group eyes DEEP approach to pharma dosing, security

Researchers have designed prototypes of pharmaceutical pills with images, text and QR codes printed directly onto them – to provide both personalised information and anti-counterfeit functions – to see how patients react to them.

In the journal Exploratory Research in Clinical and Social Pharmacy, the team from Denmark and Sweden describe a data-enriched edible pharmaceuticals (DEEP) concept and report that patients "generally had a positive attitude" towards the dosage forms and associated digital aspects.

The team used images of oro-dispersible (melt in the mouth) tablet prototypes with QR codes printed on them – with and without text and images – to gauge how the patients responded to the concept.

The hypothetical scenarios included mock-ups of how the dosage forms would function in association with digital health apps, which are increasingly being bundled along with medicines to support patients and encourage adherence.

The study also discussed the possibility of producing dosage forms using techniques like 3D printing so that medicines could be personalised to a patient.

Use of on-tablet codes means that patients could also be protected from counterfeits, provided the tablet was scanned and the code authenticated before a dose was taken.

The small survey in 13 individuals from Denmark, including 11 daily users of oral medicines and two parents who gave tablets to their children.

Most patients were "open-minded" towards the DEEPs, with the ability to customise tablets for individualised dosing, with images or text that could help them remember when to take medicines, among the positive reasons cited for the approach.

Acceptability of digital healthcare in connection to DEEPs was closely related to the patients' health and digital literacy," according to the researchers.

"For patients to engage in it, the digital solutions should be adaptable and user-friendly, and not an excessive addition to their current healthcare." Moreover, most respondents said they would not pay a premium for the added functionality afforded by DEEPs.

"The combination of digital healthcare and on-demand fabricated DEEPs could potentially contribute to higher patient adherence and safety in the future," they conclude.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top