Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Threaded Pills

Error free meds.
  (+15, -1)(+15, -1)
(+15, -1)
  [vote for,

The elderly and the mentally ill are notorious for either taking the wrong pill, or the wrong number of pills.

The manufacturers could press the pills in varying doses, using a standardized thread system where a different thread and/or tap size denotes a specific dosage.

This way, if someone needs 3 pills on Mon, Wed, Fri, and Sun, and 2 different pills on Tue, Thu, and Sat, the different pills could be assembled at the pharmacist and screwed together. Less filler could be used as well, since most of a standard pill is filler to ease handling and swallowing. Nobody wants to to try to swallow a 3 inch pill.

While the patient still has the responsibility of taking their daily meds, they would be able to take one pill per day instead of 3.

Incompatible medications would have different threads or taps so they could not be assembled wrong at the pharmacy.

This would eliminate the need to cram powdered meds into gel caps, making the job of the pharmacists and patient much easier and much safer. In addition, the powdered meds could be pressed with the brand/logo, instead of it coming in a gel cap or a container.

Pretty much everyone wins, me thinks.

Giblet, Aug 23 2005

Connecting Coins Connecting_20Coins
by Guy Fox. In similar waters [calum, Aug 23 2005]


       Bloody Genius! - But looks like a bakery entry [Pill Necklace]... I don't know why it didn't many coisants last time...   

       My only caveat would be to have some day/part-day marker... MTWTFSS and AM/PM to prevent overdose.   

       Can I suggest a simple modification, too? That the clasp could have an alarm clock in it would help remind them when to take them. [see PillAlarm bakery entry]
Dub, Aug 23 2005

       What clasp are you speaking of? The pills are like nuts and bolts that get screwed together. Eating an alarm every time you eat a pill is not cost effective, and bad for digestion.   

       However you want to dispense the pills is up to you.   

       My idea is to combine various meds into a single pill, instead of having to manage a handfull every day.
Giblet, Aug 23 2005

       I like this, but fear it might hurt to swallow. I assume regular pills are so nice and smooth for a reason. Plus it would be quite difficult for the pharmicist.
Worldgineer, Aug 23 2005

       Rounded end caps made of sugar or another filler could be put on the end of the stack, and while the job will be a bit more tedious for the person who dispenses the pills for the pharmacist (usually only small pharmacies' pharmacists dispense the pills themselves), a small machine could have the different pills put in hoppers and automatically screwed together.   

       This value added feaute for safety and convenince could be a premium prescription service.
Giblet, Aug 23 2005

       //I don't know why it didn't many coisants last time...//   

blissmiss, Aug 23 2005

       You could have resisted?   

       It was as if ropes suddently dropped down from the ceiling, clanking me into awake. And with huge spider like metalic claws, one first chunked into the left jaw, bottom lower lip, and than the other bottom right.   

       God be sorry, it was against all forces of nature, but the result was a lopsidickle torn apart angry grin.   

       Not unlike the Grinch.
blissmiss, Aug 23 2005

       "I'll never swallow that doctor. Look at the size of it!"   

       "No, no, Mrs Winklefart. It's a suppository. Come on. I'll wager that you've squeezed out bigger ones than this in your time... and look - see! It's threaded! Once you get the tip of it in the rest is easy!"   

ConsulFlaminicus, Aug 23 2005

       Seriously, [Giblet] this is a terrific idea. I'm aware of several robotic dispensaries and so forth that are in various stages of development, but your solution is elegantly simple and has the critical step of an actual human pharmacist assembling the pill components.   

       One point to ponder is that most drugs are designed (and approved for use) with a particular deliverability profile - the dosage is just one factor and the carrier medium, solubility etc that go in to the makeup of the pill are fairly critical to its effectiveness (eg is it designed for uptake through the stomach mucosa or later, through the small intestine). It will be tricky to get those factors right when you begin designing the sections to be threaded together. And the end result can't be croissant shaped - those pointy bits are a bugger to swallow. (+)
ConsulFlaminicus, Aug 23 2005

       I totally misread this, taking "threaded" to mean strung along like a necklace and therefore envisioned a pharmaceutical rosary.
calum, Aug 23 2005

       Brilliant. //Incompatible medications// this could end up with lots of different threads, though. and I'm sorry, doctor, but I'm not taking anything over a Whitworth 3/8".
moomintroll, Aug 23 2005

       [Calum] I did the same thing... Both ideas are marvelous... The clasp I was banging-on-about was to be on the string-thing. That said, I guess the last threaded-nut could contain the timer. [Giblet]So, let me get this straight... The things are nut-shaped (as in nut-and-bolt), but with a male threaded part AND a female threaded part? You're also right. Eating an alarm is a silly idea! (Which, in this instant, is why I didn't suggest it.) ...Not that if you do have a silly idea, this ISN'T the place to suggest it! :)
Dub, Aug 23 2005

       I've thought that something like this might be good for Jelly Belly flavor recipes.
bristolz, Aug 23 2005

       I've just remembered that there used to be a sweet that you could buy which looked for all the world like pills on (an elasticated) thread.
Dub, Aug 23 2005

       Memory fine, no smart pill for you. You like, so now we treat your taste buds.   

       Congratulations [Giblet] on a notably ponderous Idea. Completely unworkable and impractical. Prone to non-conformity, unverifiable errors, and inflexibility. Likely to engender consumer confusion and mistrust, physician resentment and mistrust, and a re-education nightmare scenario for the mediceautical industries.   

       I'm sure a diet products company will eat this one up.
reensure, Aug 23 2005

       Dub, candy necklaces, and they are still around at penny store arcade type outlets. Just like candy pills, colored sugar dabs, glued to rolls of plain white paper.
blissmiss, Aug 23 2005

       Maybe instead of threads you could design a bunch of mechanical interlocks, like sliding dovetails, square holes and sockets, and similar, which would give the pharmacist a more visual grip on the pills compatibility. You don't really need all the holding power of threads for this idea anyway; a tight sliding fit would be fine for a one time, short duration hold, like you have here, and would cause less dusting of the pill as you assemble them.
oxen crossing, Aug 23 2005

       That's good - I'm now envisaging something like a pharmaceutical lego, which you could make mind-altering model houses from...   

       "Alice saw a little model aeroplane sitting on the table in front of her, a paper label hanging from its wing, which said: 'Eat me'..."
moomintroll, Aug 23 2005

       Each section of pill has a male and female side. A nut and bolt in one.   

       Much like those little brass hex screws that float the mobo above the case, except not hex, and not as tall.   

       [Reensure] I'd hate to come up with an idea that would keep people mistrusting and resenting pharmaceutical companies...   

       Just like a regular pill, they would pressed. This is completely workable. It is somewhat impractable, but at the expense of safety.   

       Why would you rsent anyone who is helping you take less pills everyday? The unverifiable errors are the same ones that any machine or pharmacist can make.   

       Sorry.. I don't understand your points, since there is no explanation why you think that way.   

       [oxen crossing] I agree that something other then a thread would work better. Interlocking Pills might have been a better baked idea. The interlocking could even be replaced by a sugar glue or something similar.
Giblet, Aug 24 2005

       [Giblet] If I understand correctly, your not content with reensure's worries... I can see that if someone took too many you couldn't tell when they took them, and whether the pharmasist had got something wrong... But that said, I guess that could happen when they give a normal box/bottle of pills anyway. I still think they're genius... But I prefer the sweets ^H^H^H^H oops pills on a rope version.
Dub, Aug 24 2005

       Jigsaw puzzle pills? Camlock pills?
bristolz, Aug 24 2005

       What [Dub] said. Plus, the Idea supposes anything can be made into a pill -- effectively dumping aside the whole question, "Why are there pills when there are capsules?" Actually, dump this question, "Why are there capsules when there are pills?", too. Oh, let's assume you meant 'any pill that can be made a particular size, whether it has enteric coat frosting or not'. Shall we agree that these pills will be for long term stable use only, so that titrated drugs like coumadin can be taken on alternating days, as in "one blue with the thread showing on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; and, one blue screwed with one red on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday".   

       A sub-specialty of regimen retro-fitters could spring up overnight. These clear headed, dry handed, steady nerved, and well trained specialists could intervene with their nimble fingers and 20/20 near vision to disassemble and reorganize prescriptions as their patients' conditions warrant. heh.   

       Truth be told, [Giblet], the only thing that caught my eye with the Idea was the potential for a tubular pill dispenser with a central capstan and screw cap rather than spring loop-fed or some other gimbal-style feed mechanism. You may test that concept for efficiency if you have an erector set.
reensure, Aug 24 2005

       [reensure]...Sorry, I'm still a little bleary on that last bit...Erm. It sounds a little like a Pez dispenser... Isn't this how eBay started?
Dub, Aug 24 2005

       I think it was the withdrawel method that was pioneered for IUD insertion: twist and out.
reensure, Aug 24 2005


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