Printing pills to order will mean safer and faster-acting medicines
Compressed tablets are the most popular dosage form in use today. About two-thirds of all prescriptions are dispensed as solid dosage forms and half of these are compressed tablets. What may surprise many people is that nearly 99.9 percent of most prescription tablets are actually filler. The active ingredient is usually just one thousandth of a pill, so it has to be mixed with other ingredients to make the medicine big enough to pick up and swallow. The second thing that may surprise you is that the underlying production process has remained largely unchanged for over a thousand years ... though quality assurance is a lot better these days. Now researchers are looking at a fundamental shift in methodology which promises to create safer and faster-acting medicines – "printing" pills to order.