- MT Brown et al, “Medication Adherence: Truth and Consequences”, Am J Med Sci. 351(4), pp. 387-99, 2016
- AK Jha et al., “Greater adherence to diabetes drugs is linked to less hospital use and could save nearly $5 billion annually”, Health Affairs 31(8), pp. 1836-46, 2012.
Recent years have seen significant increases in the prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and autoimmune conditions, and the very high cost of the drugs (>€10k/yr) and treatment regimens associated with these conditions has intensified the pressure to shift medication administration from traditional settings to cost-effective alternatives.
One alternative location is the patient’s home, where treatments are now regularly self-injected. Diabetics may require multiple doses of insulin daily, while high-value biologics for autoimmune conditions may be administered as infrequently as once every 2-3 months.
However, homecare settings lead to poor patient adherence (i.e. the failure to take medication as prescribed). To address these issues, the development of smart drug delivery platforms and intelligent autoinjectors is required.
The greatest societal impact of smart drug delivery platforms will be seen in improved public health arising from increased patient adherence. Poor adherence is linked to demographic factors, incorrect patient beliefs about costs and benefits, and perceived patient burden regarding obtaining and using medication. It is estimated that up to 50% of patients fail to medicate as planned, and for chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, this can cause deterioration of the joints from physical wear of the bones, leading to further hospitalization, patient distress and financial burden.
Ultimately, non-adherence contributes to the premature deaths of nearly 200,000 Europeans annually. Conversely, the potential societal impact of improved adherence is huge – in one study, patients who showed improved adherence had a 13% reduction in the risk of hospitalization or emergency room visits – and emerging drug delivery technologies will further accelerate this trend.
In Moore4Medical a wearable autoinjector platform for intelligent drug delivery will be developed. The platform is intended to improve patient adherence and reduce the cost of medication programmes.
Product-like demonstrators will be constructed to controllably deliver high-value therapeutics at precise flowrates and volumes; incorporating:
- Advanced micropumps that will be industrialized in the project;
- Micro-sensors to monitor the drug delivery conditions (time, temperature, location and activity of the patient);
- A novel microfluidic module for rehydration and delivery of lyophilized drug formulations;
- A smartphone interface to provide personalized reminders to the patient and feedback to clinical personnel.
It will demonstrate a complete supply chain, from component to consumable.