An Easy Pill to Swallow
From houses to hamburgers, all kinds of items are being created using 3-D printing. The medical world has used this technology to make teeth and plastic body parts. However, until recently, no one had produced medicine this way. That changed when a US-based drug company was given the green light this year to sell the first printed pill.
The drug, which is used to treat epilepsy, has many advantages. Compared to regular pills, it dissolves more easily in water and it’s easier to swallow, especially for elderly patients and children. Furthermore, the 3-D printing process allows makers to be sure that the amounts of drugs in pills are precise. This means doctors may be able to print pills according to patients’ individual needs in the future.
Some scientists want to take things a step further by designing a printer that can produce chemical reactions. They predict that people will one day be able to download "recipes" for pills that they can print themselves at home. These exciting developments show that 3-D printing is far more than just a trend. It could bring major changes to health care and help save lives.