For some people with serious illnesses the number of prescription pills they need to take each day are extensive and to get the medication and supplements they need some people will need to take a range of pills specifically for their needs, especially when people have numerous conditions and complications as is more often the case with the elderly.
Being able to print personalized tablets, that may contain the active ingredients from several tablets at once, is a possible solution to several of the issues resulting from the number of pills some people have to have.
For some people they will find themselves having to take dozens of tablets several times a day and even different sets of tablets at different times and different days. This means storing a lot of tablets, regularly having to go to the pharmacy to renew prescriptions, as well as having to make sure you take the right tablets and the problem of actually swallowing that many tablets of different shapes and sizes.
For some people it is actually getting to the pharmacy that is the biggest problem: especially in rural areas and for those whose conditions make it difficult or in some cases impossible to go to the pharmacy meaning they have to rely on others.
For those using a lot of medication having a 3D printing service at home empowers them to print their own prescriptions when they need them and many medications could be combined into less pills; for most drugs the active ingredients are a very small part of the entire tablet.
It would also be easier to give people exactly the right amount of active ingredients, for example standard tablets for a medication may come in 50mg or 100mg doses while the ideal amount of a patient is in fact 75mg, this could easily be made using a 3D printing service.
Different tablets for different times and days could be made as well and clearly labeled or color coded, this could cut down on the chances of people missing vital medication or taking the wrong, or too much of a, medication which could potentially even save lives.
For rare conditions as well many local pharmacies may not keep prescriptions in stock and so they too could benefit from having a 3D printing service in their stores. Trained pharmacists can make up medication though they rarely do this because of the time involved and because most medications are pre made. A pharmacist with a 3D printing service for medication though could quickly and easily create drugs based on pre programmed ingredients, meaning they wouldn’t have to store as many products and could provide rarely called for medicines.
The other advantage to pharmacists of course would be that withholding drugs and meds in stock there is the risk they will go out of date but this wouldn’t be such an issue holding raw ingredients and using a 3D printing service.
Initially it is likely that 3D printing services for medication will be placed in pharmacists, with rural and remote pharmacists first of all, but even when printed by pharmacists for customers personalized tablets for people’s medication could have a lot of benefits.