3D printing technology has many applications and benefits for many industries. The technology-enabled bringing a number of products at significantly lower prices with its promising efficient technique.
The pharmaceutical industry is among the industries that can benefit from what 3D printing is capable of. With medicine also changing and personalized medicines becoming more real, the possibilities of using 3D printing are increasing. Personalized medicines are those which are specifically made for unique symptoms to suit the needs of a patient, instead of mass production of a drug.
Personalized medicines, of course, won’t be a replacement for medicines as we know them right now as the mass manufacturing of pharmaceutical products will remain something else. But with 3D printing, these personalized medicines can be more efficiently manufactured.
Benefits of personalized medicines
The idea of making specific dosages for different patients is no more just an idea as it is already happening. The FDA has already approved the first prescription medication as of March 2016.
That would be something very helpful for children as they are often unable to take the high dosages of the medicines available in the market. 3D printing can allow easy production of pills with small dosages that are appropriate for being taken by children.
A more precise prescription is just one of the possibilities coming to the pharmaceutical industry with 3D printing. The technology is also able to solve other problems like when the product is not soluble enough. 3D printingallows producing drugs in crystalline form which is a very soluble form for drugs. This is done through making a product composed of a number of layers printed upon each other.
Progress of 3D printed medications
Back in 2016, the FDA approvedSPRITAM, as the first 3D printed medication to be ever approved. The drug developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals treats symptoms of epilepsy and the company used its ZipDose technology it developed that combines 3D printing and formulation science to achieve the first 3D printed medication approved by the FDA.
ZipDose technology was designed to offer solid medications that are easy to take and accurately prescribe to patients.
SPRITAM was just the first of many other 3D printed medications utilizing the technology, which is suitable for producing a wide range of different medications.
Possibilities with such technology in the pharmaceutical industry can be unlimited. Instead of 3D printed medications being made by healthcare professionals, we could see 3D printers at homes with patients allowed to 3D print the medications they need when prescribed. This can be of course controversial, but it is not impossible.