Schreiner MediPharm – in conjunction with Dutch technology company Experts in Communications & Connectivity Technology – has developed a ‘smart’ blister pack to improve medication adherence in clinical trials.
The smart packaging technology is designed to generate data in real time. When a patient pushes a tablet from the blister pack, information regarding the medication type, the tablet extraction time, and the specific packaging cavity pushed, is transmitted via a smartphone application or reader to a database, according to the company.
The digital tool is designed to reduce the need for manual documentation and monitoring during clinical trials, improve patient compliance, and shorten trial periods.
According to the German firm: “This digital therapy monitoring allows physicians, for example, to verify that patients have taken their medicine at the right time…
“Additionally, the technology makes interactive communication between physicians and patients possible.”
Although originally intended for use in research studies, Shreiner MediPharm’s product manager of patient compliance monitoring solutions, Uwe Braun, told us the smart blister packs also are in development for commercialised drugs.
“There have been some projects in place already with international pharmaceutical companies. First launches might become realistic in 2019,” he said.
While Braun said there are some “cost implications” compared to standard packaging, smart blister packs improve flexibility, process optimization, and patient engagement for the pharmaceutical industry.
“Not to mention faster time-to-market in case of clinical trials due to improved patient compliance,” he added.
While pharmaceutical manufacturers will initially pay for the blister packs, Braun told us other stakeholders – such as insurance companies, patients, healthcare providers, and governmental healthcare systems – may also benefit financially from the technology.
“Therefore, it seems that in the future, the cost will probably be shared or covered – not only by the pharmaceutical industry,” he said.