2. Single-dose applicator
For a high-strength opioid painkiller called Dsuvia, which the FDA recently approved, single-dose packaging was required. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. manufactures Dsuvia, which is a more potent version of fentanyl. The sublingual drug is not intended for home use, and patients are supposed to use it for 72 hours, maximum.
The FDA approved the drug for use in medically supervised healthcare settings like hospitals and emergency rooms and potentially for battlefield treatment of U.S. soldiers. Restricting where and how long Dsuvia is administered and the single-dose applicator are all geared to preventing improper use and diversion of the drug.
Each filled Dsuvia applicator contains only one tablet; healthcare providers use the applicator to deposit the tablet under the patient’s tongue. A plunger inside the disposable applicator pushes the tablet out. A removable lock on the applicator prevents unintended dispensing.
The body of the applicator is transparent, so a visual check shows when the tablet has been dispensed. The plunger is nonretractable, making it impossible to refill a used applicator with some other substance. Each filled applicator is packed in a sealed, tamper-evident pouch with fold-out directions for use.
NEXT: Opioids administered as liquids