Helping users dial the right dose

By Daphne Allen in Drug-Delivery Devices on May 24, 2016

Caregivers may not always have two hands available when administering pharmaceutical liquids, so delivering accurate doses could be challenging. When it comes to syrups and suspensions for pediatric applications in particular, “we’ve heard the call for a device for administering them effectively,” reports Alfredo Paredes, marketing manager for Balda C. Brewer. The company, known for its expertise in medical plastics injection molding and contract manufacturing, has just introduced its solution, the Dial-the-Dose liquid medicine dispenser that caregivers can use to deliver an accurate dose with one hand.

Dial-the-Dose can dispense a liquid in volumes ranging from 0.5 mL to 3.0 mL in 0.5-mL increments, all from the same device. “Users draw the syrup into the dispenser and then dial to the appropriate volume,” explains Paredes. “There’s a hard stop when users pull on the plunger. The accuracy tolerance is within +/-10%, whereas the requirement is +/-20%.” 

The device can be used multiple times for the same product, but cannot be disassembled for cleaning for use with different products, says Paredes. “This is a plus when you are promoting the integrity and accuracy for a given product,” he says.

The plunger of the device could be modified to support preloaded doses, but according to Paredes, this would not be considered a prefilled device. “A bolus could be loaded into the dispenser, 5 mL for instance, and then each turn could give another 1 mL, as indicated with a click,” he says. “We could supply these devices in bulk to pharmaceutical customers for preloading. Prefilled devices [face] a more rigorous set of regulatory requirements, and we could help customers go for a prefilled device.”

Dial-the-Dose can also be customized. “We are offering it as a platform that can be modified to suit the needs of a particular product,” he says. “We can also come up with a design from the ground up. There’s also the possibility of interfacing with smart devices, which could be worked on with a partner or customer.”

The device may also find utility in other markets. “Although our Dial-the-Dose product is initially developed for the pharma industry, it demonstrates Balda’s vision and capabilities to provide innovative, custom solutions for the pharma, diagnostic, and medical device industries,” explained Christoph Klaus, Balda’s CEO for U.S. operations, in a statement.

Balda has launched other dosing aids. At CPhI Worldwide last year, the company introduced the Smart Pill Dispenser, which employs Bluetooth technology for interfacing with iPhone 6 platforms through texts to caregivers. It also launched the Mini-Tablet Dispenser for tablets as small as 2 mm in height.

Innovations in glass ampules, vials, and cartridges may also be forthcoming, given Balda’s recent acquisition by Stevanato Group. “We have a history of working with pharma on plastic dispensers, and now we have the component of glass. The impact will be favorable,” says Paredes. “We’re going to bring a new set of service offerings to the pharma market.”

Paredes will present a case study about drug-delivery devices at the Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging conference at EastPack on June 16th, and Klaus will take part in the panel discussion immediately following entitled “Macro Trends in Digital Technology + Human Factors: Combination Sensors, Apps, & Behavioral Science to Design for Emerging Markets,” which also features FDA’s Connected Health expert Bakul Patel, Eric Dessertenne of Biocorp, and Patty Britton of Thin Film Electronics ASA.

Balda C. Brewer will be exhibiting in Booth #1257 at the co-located MD&M East 2016 show June 14-16

Use promo code NY16PMPN to register to get your free expo pass. With that code you’ll also get 20% off the co-located conference Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging conference on June 16th

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