Treat and trace? Sensor-embedded pill gains US approval

By Flora Southey contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/Pinkypills
GettyImages/Pinkypills
Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s pill embedded with a sensor that digitally verifies if patients have taken their medication has received US approval for mental illness indications.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised Abilify MyCite – comprised of Otsuka’s aripiprazole tablets and Proteus Digital Health’s sensor technology – to treat patients with schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar type 1, and for use as an add-on treatment for depression in adults.

When in contact with stomach fluid, Abilify MyCite transmits a signal to a wearable patch, which sends time-stamped information to a mobile application before the sensor is digested and eliminated from the body.

“Patients can track the ingestion of the medication on their smart phone,” ​said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Patients can also permit their caregivers and physician to access the information through a web-based portal.”

US-based Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine’s John Kane said the technology will provide psychiatrists and care teams information of objective medication taking patterns.

“Until now, pharmacologic therapy for serious mental illness has been missing a systematic approach to objectively track and signal that a patient has taken their drug,” ​he said.

Sensor technology for pharmaceutical application is increasingly attracting interest from firms aiming to enhance patient adherence.

Last year​, Aptar Pharma launched a new counter technology – eDose Counter – for metered dose inhalers (MDI), which uses sensors to detect the spray and track the number of dosages electronically. 

Related topics: Delivery technologies, Drug Delivery

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