Trouble remembering if you took your medication? With a tracking system embedded into a drug, such worries may soon be a thing of the past.
Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved the combination of the prescription medication Abilify with the MyCite sensor. Abilify is approved for treating mood disorders, schizophrenia and Tourette Syndrome.
The tracker is a tiny, ingestible piece of copper and magnesium embedded in the Abilify pill, which will disintegrate after a few minutes. Before it disappears, however, it interacts with stomach acid and sends a signal to a wearable patch. The patch transmits the information that the medication was taken to a mobile app, where patients can track the data. In addition, patients can give access to the information to their caregivers and physicians through a web-based portal.
Proponents of the treatment option say it will help reduce time spent by doctors who are trying to determine whether a patient’s medication is not appropriate, or if the patient is simply not taking it as directed. However, others have suggested that tracking whether a patient has consumed medication may be a violation of privacy, and worry if it might provide insurance companies with a means to enforce compliance with a drug regimen.
Otsuka, which manufactures the drug, has not released pricing information. Proteus Digital Health, Redwood City, Calif., makes the sensor.