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A drug like “Big Brother” landed in the United States

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This is a new that would certainly raise ethical questions, in particular as regards the respect of private life. The american Agency food and drug administration (FDA) just to allow the use of a pill “numeric”.

Equipped with sensors of silicon, copper and magnesium – ingredients-edible safe – it allows the monitoring of the follow-up of the treatment prescribed by your doctor.

Called Abilify MyCite and produced by companies with japanese Otsuka Pharmaceutical and california-based Proteus Digital Health, the pill that “is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic-depressive disorder associated with bipolar disorder and adjunctive treatment for depression in adults”, specifies the FDA in a press release.

A patch and an app

“According to the FDA, the pill is equipped with a sensor that sends information to a patch [pasted on the skin], which can then be passed [by Bluetooth] to an app on a smartphone or a nurse who follows the patient”, relays Gizmodo.

The people who will be willing to take this digital version of the antipsychotic drug currently marketed under the brand name Abilify will be able to sign a document “allowing their doctor and up to four other people, including family members, to receive the electronic data, showing the date and time at which the pills have been ingested”, specifies the New York Times.

To Peter Kramer, psychiatrist and author of Prozac : happiness by prescription ? the idea of“pack a drug with a ” cookie” is open to question. the “It looks like a tool potentially coercive”, he tells the daily of New York.

Improving treatment adherence ?

Ameet Sarpatwari, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, believes that this pill could help improve public health, especially for patients who want to take their medication but who forget it. But if it is improperly used, “this drug could foster suspicion rather than trust,” he adds.

There is currently no data suggesting that this type of medicine that is connected will improve patient adherence to their treatment. According to Robert McQuade, vice-president of Otsuka Pharmaceutical, quoted by the New York Times, studies will be carried out as soon as the sales have begun.

The american daily newspaper reminds us that there are already sensors that can be used inside the body, but this is the first time that they are embedded directly into a pill with active ingredients. Until now, they were encapsulated and taken “on the side” of another drug.

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