SwRI Scientist Working on a Device to Deliver Meds Automatically

This could be a dream come true for everybody who has ever wondered whether they have taken their meds, or frets about dosage or side effects, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Chemical engineer Dr. Sandra Drabik of San Antonio's Southwest Research Institute is working on an 'implantable drug delivery system' which would be implanted into a person's arm and automatically deliver the prescribed dosage of a wide variety of drugs directly into the bloodstream.

Dr. Drabik told SwRI's annual meeting that the idea is to have all of the drugs prescribed to a person placed into the device on a regular basis.

"Right now its for six months of continuous dosing, and we would like to push it to twelve," she said.

She says in addition to people who can't remember whether they took their medications, or took the right medications that day, this device would be very convenient for patients who are on the move, like truck drivers and pilots, as well as military personnel.

"This would be especially important to deployed soldiers, who are out in the field, and may not have a large amount of drugs with them," she said.

Another advantage to the implantable device would be that it would cut down on side effects.  A large number of people simply don't take prescribed medications, especially psychotropic medications, due to the harsh side effects.

"So hopefully that implant would be on board and have fewer side effects, because the drug level hopefully would be reduced compared to what you would have to take orally."

She says she hopes to bring the device to human testing sometime in the coming two years.

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