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FDA approves first pill with tracking device

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - 11/14/2017

Nov. 14--Did you take your pill today? Can't remember?

Coming soon, your doctor may be able to help you monitor medication ingestion with a digital tracking device.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first digital pill, or medication with a sensor.

Japanese drug maker Otsuka Pharmaceutical won the approval for an antipsychotic medication called Ability, prescribed to adults for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia mania and some forms of depression.

"The system works by sending a message from the pill's sensor to a wearable patch," the FDA said in a news release . "The patch transmits the information to a mobile application so that patients can track the ingestion of the medication on their smart phone. Patients can also permit their caregivers and physician to access the information through a web-based portal."

Patients using the drug can sign consent forms allowing their doctors and up to four other people to receive and monitor electronic data showing when the pills are ingested.

"Being able to track ingestion of medications prescribed for mental illness may be useful for some patients," said Dr. Mitchell Mathis, M.D., director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA'sCenter for Drug Evaluation and Research. "The FDA supports the development and use of new technology in prescription drugs and is committed to working with companies to understand how technology might benefit patients and prescribers."

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, bschmitt@tribweb.com or via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.

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(c)2017 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)

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