Edible Barcode to Assist Cancer Patients with Medications
The widespread prescription medication use for cancer patients is increasingly risky and complex. Advances in prescription medications results in clinical therapeutic benefits for cancer patients. The average cancer patient takes a multitude of medications. Some medications are prescribed to combat pain, while others are for medical complications from the cancer. Due to the high cost of prescription medications, some patients resort to ordering medications from other countries. Scam artists often take advantage of sick or elderly patients.
An error in medication may cause fatal consequences. Over 700,000 people are seen in emergency rooms yearly, due to adverse drug events and some must be hospitalized. Pharmacists and physicians must assess dangers of a harmful reaction when new medications are prescribed. A new technology may prevent many adverse drug events.
An edible barcode tag has been developed by TruTag Technologies. The spectrally coded silica microtag addresses the security risk resulting from counterfeit medications. Medications may be authenticated and tracked by the tags. The tags are nanoparticles, no larger than the width of a thin sewing needle. Optically configured information concerning the manufacturer, type of medication, dosage amounts, manufactured site, country, lot and date may be embedded onto the tag.
Counterfeit medications risk human lives. Pharmaceutical representatives will be able to site check medications to determine authenticity without the assistance of labels. Although, the original intent for edible barcodes are to decrease security risk of prescription medications, perhaps in the near future, patients will be able to identify medication dispensed at the hospital.
The information may not be retrieved from the body. Patients need not be concerned about Big Brother utilizing medication to track individuals. The sole purpose of the nanoparticle sized edible barcode tags is to protect patients. Consumers can rest assured that products identified as authentic will not be counterfeit. TruTag Technologies states that the pills may not be tracked after ingesting.
(Photo courtesy of “A Whole Galaxy of Multi-Colored Uppers, Downers,” by EP_JHU at Flickr’s Creative Commons.)