FDA Issues First Approval for 3D-Printed Pharmaceutical

FDA Issues First Approval for 3D-Printed Pharmaceutical
Image: Pexels
August 5, 2015

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has, for the first time, given approval to a 3D-printed pill.

The new drug, preliminarily named Spritam, was developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals. The pill is intended to epileptic seizures, according to a BBC News report.

This technological breakthrough is significant for the pharmaceutical industry. Printing drugs will allow manufacturers to be packaged more tightly in precise dosages, up to 1,000 milligrams into individual tablets. The ease with which 3D printing can change specs should result in greater attention paid to the needs of an individual, as opposed to convenience for the manufacturer. A change in dosage will require only a minor software tweak.

"For the last 50 years we have manufactured tablets in factories and shipped them to hospitals and for the first time this process means we can produce tablets much closer to the patient," said Dr. Mohamed Albed Alhnan, a lecturer in pharmaceutics at the University of Central Lancashire, in a written statement.

Spritam will launch in the first quarter of 2016, according to Aprecia.