Reg­u­la­tors OK first dig­i­tal pill to track pa­tients

Houston Chronicle - - BUSINESS -

WASH­ING­TON — U.S. reg­u­la­tors have ap­proved the first drug with a sen­sor that alerts doc­tors when the med­i­ca­tion has been taken, of­fer­ing a new way of mon­i­tor­ing pa­tients but also rais­ing pri­vacy con­cerns.

The dig­i­tal pill ap­proved Mon­day com­bines two ex­ist­ing prod­ucts: the for­mer block­buster psy­chi­atric med­i­ca­tion Abil­ify, long used to treat schizophre­nia and bipo­lar dis­or­der, with a sen­sor track­ing sys­tem first ap­proved in 2012.

De­vel­op­ers Ot­suka Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Co. and Pro­teus Dig­i­tal Health are likely to face hur­dles. The pill has not yet been shown to im­prove pa­tients’ com­pli­ance. Also, pa­tients must be will­ing to al­low care­givers to ac­cess the in­for­ma­tion.

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