QR Codes Make Their Way to Prescription Drugs


An innovate production method may allow health care providers to produce on-demand medicine in the near future.

Advancements in technology have allowed researchers to develop a new method for producing medicine, which involves printing medical drugs in the form of a QR code onto an edible white material.

By utilizing new technology that prints each drug individually, the drug will be customized to meet the needs of each patient, rather than mass produced, according to a study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics.

“This technology is promising, because the medical drug can be dosed exactly the way you want it to. This gives an opportunity to tailor the medication according to the patient getting it,” study author Natalja Genina, PhD said in a press release about the study.

This method may also decrease the use of wrong or fake medication. The unique shape of each QR code allows the data of the medicine to be self-stored right on the edible material, according to the authors.

“Simply doing a quick scan, you can get all the information about the pharmaceutical product. In that sense it can potentially reduce cases of wrong medication and fake medicine,” Dr Genina said.

The authors said that regular printers will soon be capable of printing QR coded medicine, which would allow the widespread use of this method. This would enable the on-demand printing of medicine by health care providers. The edible material will still require mass production, according to the study.

“If we are successful with applying this production method to relatively simple printers, then it can enable the innovative production of personalized medicine and rethinking of the whole supply chain,” said study author Jukka Rantanen, PhD.

The researchers plan to refine their new production method to ensure it is cost-effective and can benefit a widespread number of patients.


New technology: Edible QR code can be the medicine of the future [news release] University of Copenhagen. January 31, 2018. http://news.ku.dk/all_news/2018/02/new-technology-edible-qr-code-can-be-the-medicine-of-the-future/. Accessed Feb. 7, 2018.

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