Pharmaceutical Drugs as a spying tool.

Sean 2010/11/17 23:13:29
This is from Reuters

Look out, your medicine is watching you

  • By Ben Hirschler

NEW YORK | Mon Nov 8, 2010 5:29pm EST

(Reuters) - Novartis AG plans to seek regulatory approval within 18 months for a pioneering tablet containing an embedded microchip, bringing the concept of "smart-pill" technology a step closer.

The initial program will use one of the Swiss firm's established drugs taken by transplant patients to avoid organ rejection. But Trevor Mundel, global head of development, believes the concept can be applied to many other pills.

"We are taking forward this transplant drug with a chip and we hope within the next 18 months to have something that we will be able to submit to the regulators, at least in Europe," Mundel told the Reuters Health Summit in New York.

"I see the promise as going much beyond that," he added.

Novartis agreed in January to spend $24 million to secure access to chip-in-a-pill technology developed by privately owned Proteus Biomedical of Redwood City, California, putting it ahead of rivals.

The biotech start-up's ingestible chips are activated by stomach acid and send information to a small patch worn on the patient's skin, which can transmit data to a smartphone or send it over the Internet to a doctor.

Mundel said the initial project was focused on ensuring that patients took drugs at the right time and got the dose they needed -- a key issue for people after kidney and other transplant operations, when treatment frequently needs adjustment.

Longer-term, he hopes to expand the "smart pill" concept to other types of medicine and use the wealth of biometric information the Proteus chip can collect, from heart rate and temperature to body movement, to check that drugs are working properly.

Because the tiny chips are added to existing drugs, Novartis does not expect to have to conduct full-scale clinical trials to prove the new products work. Instead, it aims to do so-called bioequivalence tests to show they are the same as the original.

A bigger issue may be what checks should be put in place to protect patients' personal medical data as it is transmitted from inside their bodies by wireless and Bluetooth.

"The regulators all like the concept and have been very encouraging. But ... they want to understand how we are going to solve the data privacy issues," Mundel said.

A technology that ensures a patient takes his or her medicine and checks that it is working properly should deliver better outcomes and justify a higher price tag.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler. Editing by Robert MacMillan)

Read More: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6A754720101108

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  • MaryKontrol 2010/11/21 23:35:05
    oh my balls for real!!!
  • oldlady 2010/11/19 21:18:26
    Big Brother!

    and the beat goes on.....
  • postmamy 2010/11/19 10:51:37
    new and get newer and getting newer everyday

    next time we are even going to see the one capsule of food medicine~~~~~~
  • Lady Yui 2010/11/18 20:53:32
    Lady Yui
    Sure, I can see the positive applications of this kind of technology. The one talked about in the article would benefit patients. Such a system could be used to ensure people who are requesting drugs regularly aren't abusing them, or not using them at all and selling them. It would be helpful in making sure the right people knew if someone wasn't taking their drugs when they were supposed to - such as a convicted sex offender who is required to take certain drugs as part of his parole.


    None of these benefits outweigh the fact that a system like this would almost immediately be abused by various agencies seeking only to either exploit or control people. The insurance company example given below is one good example. The government decides it wants to know whether you're doing what it thinks you should do. Uh-oh...your heart rate hasn't shown any signs of increased activity all day...you didn't exercise today! You get slapped with a fine! We detect from the hormones in your system that you're pregnant and you just ingested alcohol or nicotine! Who cares that you're only 3 weeks along and don't even know you're pregnant yet, let's send in the SRS attack dogs!

    Yeah...I'll pass.
  • Skater62 2010/11/18 17:24:34
    Somehow this does not surprise me
  • Just MEH....Piwan 2010/11/18 17:19:01
    Just MEH....Piwan
    Kinda embarrasing if it happens to be a suppository!!!
  • BK 2010/11/18 14:19:53
    Wow. Talk about Big Brother is watching.
  • oldlady BK 2010/11/19 21:22:40
    Every time I drive my local highways I see another camera hanging from stop lights or utility poles. I always smile and give the finger.
  • BK oldlady 2010/11/22 16:31:58
    Yeah, more and more of them are showing up. Nice to know that the money the government takes from me is used to watch every single thing I do.
  • oldlady BK 2010/11/22 16:38:58
    yeah...probly got me on tape while driving and singing away to the song "War", what is it good for? Absolutely Noth'in. FBI probly has a file on me now called 'Oldlady singing while driving and giving the finger".
  • BK oldlady 2010/11/22 16:52:40
    For me, there's video of air drumming and screaming songs at the top of my lungs. I probably look insane.
  • oldlady BK 2010/11/22 16:55:31
    LOL!! Was that you?????????? Looked normal to me :-/
  • sheratan 2010/11/18 09:44:28 (edited)
    Unfortunately, we all knows who are going to force people to use these kind of medicine: Insurance companies.

    Short story

    Insurance company: Are you interested with our services?

    You: Yes.

    Insurance company: There is just a little requirement. You will need to take some sort of specific medicine...you know these one who have tiny chips in it.

    You: What if I refuse?

    Insurance company: If you refuse then we will have to refuse your application.

    You: Fine. I accept your conditions.

    Two years later.

    You: I have been taking those medicine for two years and I'm still sick. I want my money back.

    Insurance company: Unfortunately, our review of your file indicates that you didn't take your medicine on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. So, it is your fault that you are still sick. We can't therefore reimburse you. Sorry for the inconvenience this may cause
  • Don Leuty 2010/11/18 03:59:08
    Don Leuty
    oh, boy. Big Brother now has a little bugger
  • XRenX 2010/11/18 00:43:52
  • Poison Ivy 2010/11/18 00:27:28
    Poison Ivy
    I don't really care, it isn't any different from them taping your phone.
  • Sean Poison Ivy 2010/11/18 01:10:21
    So is your telephone line being tapped acceptable to you?
  • Poison Ivy Sean 2010/11/19 18:23:59
    Poison Ivy
    I could care less, if they think it is so important then great, but if there doing it to get a reaction out of me, then they will be waiting a long time because it will never happen.
  • LilMissManners 2010/11/18 00:21:55
    If it doesn't have any ill effects within the body then it's an excellent idea... Most of us nurses are constantly frustrated by the lack of complete medication history and things like vital signs when the medication was taken etc etc... Unfortunately, most people don't take a proactive role in their health and illness management.. even more unfortunate is that often this is because of the lack of education their nurses fail to give them (as well as doctors)... Problem is.. so far.. there isn't anything that can be put in the body that can't in some way shape or form have adverse effects... Biggest question now is what will these effects be and probably MORE important is HOW BAD will they be. I also think in some ways, this will give some people more anxieties about visiting a physician if they miss a med, cheat on their medical treatment plan, etc etc.

    Society and Healthcare Corporations as a whole need to start realizing that we can only help people live soooo long... it should be about quality not quantity!!

    plan society healthcare corporations realizing people live soooo quality quantity
  • Sean LilMiss... 2010/11/18 01:14:10
    Keep in mind that not everybody believes in, and utilizes allopathic medicine, there is a growing number of people who are going to herbal medicine, and going on raw-vegan diets, and having very good health results. That's an aside though.

    How would having tracking chips built into an allopathic drug benefit the patient who's using allopathic medicine?
  • oldlady Sean 2010/11/22 17:12:02
    are you talking about the natural changes that happen to the body itself biologicaly or outside influences such as diet.
  • steph ♥ 2010/11/18 00:02:23
    steph ♥
    I think the concept is good, as far as making sure someone does not die due to complications, but I'm with you... this scares me. Where does it stop? What if they want to start giving it to pregnant women, or someone who has minor surgery?
  • LoliAnne 2010/11/17 23:44:34
  • Poet003 2010/11/17 23:24:22
    Well, I have a new reason to be paranoid.
  • Alex Oger Poet003 2010/11/18 18:11:23
    Alex Oger
    hehehehe don't we all
  • Alex Oger 2010/11/17 23:17:07
    Alex Oger
    ahhh that totally reaks of new world order the number of the beast
  • XRenX Alex Oger 2010/11/18 00:44:21
    EXACTLY! disgusting right?
  • Alex Oger XRenX 2010/11/18 18:11:52
    Alex Oger

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