Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Technology to Improve Adherence to Injectible Medications

Writer, ms.about.com

Raise your hands: How many of you forget to give yourself your MS injections occasionally? How many of you have had things come up that prevent you from injecting when you were supposed to? How many of you just can't bring yourselves to do it some days? (You don't have to answer that last one.)

I'll admit that I can answer "yes" to all of the above. I'm pretty sure that I am not alone in this, either.

While not directly related to MS (yet), I was pretty excited to read about a new microchip drug delivery device that just went through its first trial successfully. The device, developed by a company called MicroCHIPS, Inc., was used in a trial to collect data about the pharmokinetics of the osteoporosis drug, teriparatide as it was released from the implant. Under normal circumstances, the drug has to be injected daily. The trial took place over a month in seven post-menopausal women diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Not only was the dosing method found to be just as effective as daily subcutaneous injections, the device was found to be safe with no adverse reaction to the implant. Furthermore, the trial provided proof-of-concept data that indicated that this device could be viable – reliable and durable – for at least a year or more.

The microchip device seems easy enough to deal with – it is implanted and explanted (taken out) using local anesthetic. The people who participated in the study said that they would repeat the implant procedure. The implant procedure lasts less than 30 minutes, and trial participants were "able to walk out of the facility and go home unescorted."

Not only that, the dosing can be adjusted wirelessly and (get this), docs can track dosing schedules and adjust them remotely.

MicroCHIPS plans to file for regulatory approval for its first microchip device in 2014. The company is working on new designs of the device so that it will be able to deliver daily doses for one year or less frequent doses over several years. Although there are still many steps left before FDA approval is granted, the lead author of the study, Robert Farra, (also MicroCHIPS President and Chief Operating Officer), says that the company is intending to develop a "range of products for use in important disease areas such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and chronic pain."

Certain components of microchip technology, such as the micro reservoirs that hold the medicine and the first microchip opening mechanism, were developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and licensed to MicroCHIPS.

The whole concept sounds pretty good to me. I'd happily submit to one "procedure" a year than the daily shots that I am supposed to give myself. What about you? Would you grab the chance to forget about injections for a year, but still know that you were getting your medication? Or would you prefer to skip the idea of implanting something into your body and stick with the needles that you are already used to? I'm anxious to know what you think – post your comment below.

22 comments:

  1. i am presntly on tysabri (abt 7 years..was part of the study).. started that because i had an issue with giving myself weekly avonex shots and doc wanted to switch me to rebif (MORE shots!!)
    Its only once a month and a nurse administer it so its not that bad..still a PITA..but easier...
    This would need to be available to MS patients for a while before i tried it tho... little freaked out by having something implanted in me...what if something went wrong and it gave to much med all at once? or not at all... it would have to be a proven "safe" method before i would switch...

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  2. Where do I sign up?? I have been on Copaxone since my diagnosis in February 2009. Besides taking 10 months off to have my daughter that is a shot every day for the last 3 years. I am already sick of doing the injections and would jump at the chance to not do them anymore!

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  3. Sign me up!! I've been giving myself shots for almost 12 years. Started on copaxone, switched to betaserone. I'd jump at the chance to never have to give myself a shot ever again :)

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  4. oh i'm all about this! i think its safe to say the majority of us have been waiting for something to replace injections.
    i was on copaxone the first two years, but just couldnt do it every day. plus, injections sort of eroded tissue in my legs, so now i have what i call dents in my thighs from loss of tissue. i cant even inject there anymore. so the more shots you take, the faster thats gonna happen.
    i've been on rebif for a while and other than the needle part, am really happy with it. so it would be a wish come true to not have to inject at all.

    i've also wondered why they cant make a patch for MS drugs, like birth control.

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  5. I would seriously consider this! I was previously on Rebif, and had horrible side effects. I've been injecting Copaxone since thanksgiving 2011, and would really be happy to forget daily injections. I always forget to take the syringe out of the fridge until it is time to do it, which means my schedule is pushed back half an hour.

    I long for the day on which I can forget daily needless, be it in a pill or a device like this.

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    1. Since Copaxone can be unrefridgerated for up to 30 days, I always keep at least a 7 day supply out of fridge. I had the same problem with forgetting to get them out in time to warm up, and this completely resolved it. And I have also noticed less reaction at injection sites since it has had plenty of time to get to room temp.
      I have been on Copaxone since July 2011.

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    2. I'm on Copaxone and have been for 9 years. The daily shots are tedious at best. But for me, it's remembering. The shots are just one more thing that I just don't look forward to. I would happily switch to a device that delivered the medication without the daily needles. Even though I don't have any site reactions, after so long I have begun to feel like a human pin cushion!

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  6. In a heartbeat! I also have dents in my legs, and several hard lumps through out my body from the Copaxone shots. To not have to deal with the reactions I get daily, would be a HUGE blessing!

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  7. In a heartbeat! I also have dents in my legs, and several hard lumps through out my body from the Copaxone shots. To not have to deal with the reactions I get daily, would be a HUGE blessing!

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  8. In a heartbeat! I also have dents in my legs, and several hard lumps through out my body from the Copaxone shots. To not have to deal with the reactions I get daily, would be a HUGE blessing!

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  9. In a heartbeat! I also have dents in my legs, and several hard lumps through out my body from the Copaxone shots. To not have to deal with the reactions I get daily, would be a HUGE blessing!

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  10. In a heartbeat! I also have dents in my legs, and several hard lumps through out my body from the Copaxone shots. To not have to deal with the reactions I get daily, would be a HUGE blessing!

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  11. This would be so great to have. I want this now and wish it would not take another 2 years for it to be available. I find after all of these years, 15 to be exact, that it is getting dull doing the shots and a real pain. I know I need them but oh so easy to just stop doing them so this is an answer so many of us have been waiting for.

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  12. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! Injecting everyday 7 days a week 365 days a year is a pain in the ass~~~~~bruises,hard lumps and dents to say the least!!!!! Sign me up!!!!

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  14. I've been injecting Copaxone (almost) everyday (per your reasons above...) since 2001. After 11 years, I agree -where do I sign up!?

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  15. I would be open to it! I have already had the norplant birth control...no biggies...hate injections!

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  16. Definitely!!! I have also been on EVERY injection. I am currently on Tysabri monthly but that too is a pain driving there...

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  18. Yet another way of making money from us
    I had MS for 30 years , I have been on Batasirron for 6 or 7 years then copaxon for another 6 years also run a support group, one thing I found out no matter who is on which drug everyone was getting weaker and weaker .
    So I stop the injections and all other drugs that I was taking 2 years ago, and started swimming then few months later added Yoga then few month later change my diet and try to have little saturated fat and sugar as I could.
    I feel great now and every month I feel better and better .
    Stop feeding the drug co.s
    Take control of your life
    Good luck

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  19. Yep it would be soooooo much better!!!!!!!

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