QR code for edible consumption could be a new medicine in the future

Despite the advances in drug development, the methods for the production of medicine over the past 100 years have not yet moved away from mass production. Many who have a particular illness receive the same treatment with the equal amount of an active compound.

New research from a study conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen along with colleagues from Åbo Akademi University in Finland have developed a new method for producing medicine. A white edible material, on which they print a QR code consisting of a medical drug.

“This technology is promising because the medical drug can be dosed exactly the way you want it to. This gives an opportunity to tailor the medication according to the patient getting it,” says Natalja Genina, Assistant Professor at Department of Pharmacy.

The shape of a QR code also enables storage of data in the “pill” itself.

“By simply doing a quick scan, you can get all the information about the pharmaceutical product. In that sense it can potentially reduce cases of wrong medication and fake medicine,” says Prof Genina.

The researchers hope that in the future a regular printer will be able to apply the medical drug in the pattern of a QR code, while the edible material will have to be produced in advance to allow on-demand production of the medical drug near end-users.

“If we are successful with applying this production method to relatively simple printers, then it can enable the innovative production of personalised medicine and rethinking of the whole supply chain,” says Professor Jukka Rantanen from Department of Pharmacy.

Source: European Pharmaceutical Review