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Most prescription medicines use a lot of filler. (20mg is a small amount, so they add stuff to make the pill big enough to be usable)
The multi-med is a pill that is custom made to fit all your one-dose meds into one pill, two-dose pills into another, etc.
The pharmaceutical company
gets your prescriptions and makes up the pill for your custom needs.
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||Just put all the normal pills I need in a single plastic bag for per day use.
||Nice idea, and some medications are already of
this type (for instance -
codeine+paracetamol+caffeine in some flu
(a) horrendously expensive to make thousands of
different combined pills
||(b) some medications are meant to be taken at
different times (before or
after meals; before bed)
||(c) many medications are tabletized or
encapsulated such that they are
released in a specific part of the gut (in the
stomach; in the small intestine).
||The closest you could get to this would be to make
the tablets themselves
smaller (less filler), and pop them into capsules
that dissolve in the stomach,
releasing the individual tablets which would
otherwise be similar to the
equivalent regular tablets. Partially solves (a);
solves (c); doesn't solve (b).
||Repackage all pills into ten mg dose pills. Add a non-toxic RFID component to each pill. As needed, automatically encapsulate each pill into a timed-release container. This container would have a dust-mote-sized timer, a spring, and a latch. The timer would release the latch and the spring would open the container. Let me hand-wage away questions of energy storage. There, much better. Now package all of a day's pills into as many easy-to-swallow pills as needed, these to all be taken at once every morning. If necessary you can add a fourth layer consisting of something that sticks to stomach mucous, but dissolves in 24 hours. That way you can force release in the stomach at a certain time. Another version of the timing device could detect acidity, decide when the patient has had a meal, count meals if necessary, and only then start the timer.
And yes, a tiny computer chip could do all of that and still be nontoxic.
||Sticking with only the most common medication groupings for the most
widespread ailments would beat the cost down. Within each group there
might be low and high dosage options. For less common ailments or those
with conflicting applications the patient would continue to order their
nanoprobes and analgesic cream separately.