Developed by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA), these pills are produced by a breakthrough in 3D printing. Today, that printing is done in a lab.
Tomorrow, scientists suggest, the work might be done by a pharmacist, hospital, or almost any entity other than separate pharmaceutical companies, each of which currently churns out millions of doses of the same drugs in one-size-fits-all pill formats.
The new research from UEA pushes printed pills much further. Instead of relying on this indigestible plastic, the entire pill is printed out of finely powdered drugs (which are stabilized, like many pills you take, by a polymer that your body can digest). The 3D printer extrudes medicines layer by layer to build several strata of medications in a single pill.