Transdermal Drug Dispenser Concept for 3M
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Concept dispenser for patch-delivered drugs
3M approached IDEO to develop a new dispenser for a growing segment of its drug delivery business, the Latitude transdermal “patch” drugs. This delivery method has been shown to be extremely effective, and is preferred over competing “reservoir” systems.
Currently, these drug-in-adhesive patches are individually packaged, an inefficient and inconvenient method. In order to attract more pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for this delivery process, an improved method of storage and dispensing of up to a month’s supply was required.
The concept uses 3M’s pop-up technology to present each patch, and employs a simple but effective means to childproof the dispenser without making it difficult for seniors to use. The mechanism involves a hinged outer lid that opens when a sliding gravity latch is actuated by a finger, but only when the switch is at the bottom of the dispenser. Young children have not yet learned to disassociate their hand-eye coordination—that is, they cannot activate a switch when they are not looking at it.
This mechanism produced near-ideal results when assessed by the Consumer Product Safety Division, and is now undergoing verification and validation testing as a new dispenser category by the FDA.
Project date: 2001