FDA Approves First Drug Made on 3-D Printer
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the world's first drug created through 3-D printing technology. It's a dissolvable pill called SPRITAL (levetiracetam) that will be used to treat epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that is defined by seizures--a person is diagnosed with the condition when they have two or more seizures. Anti-seizure medication is the most common treatment for epilepsy and it has been found to be effective in two out of three patients who take it as prescribed. But a study found that 71 percent of epilepsy patients reported forgetting, missing or skipping a dose of anti-seizure medication at some point. Almost half of these patients reported having a seizure after their missed dose.
The new drug, developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, is designed to address this problem. The 3-D printing technology allows the drug to be layered and tightly packed into one pill, which has the ability to dissolve instantly with just one sip of liquid. That makes it much easier to take.
This approach also allows up to 1,000 mg of the medication to be loaded into a single dose, and the layering technology can control the dosage much more accurately and tailor it the specific needs of the individual.
The medication is expected to be available early next year.