The development of drug delivery devices that are more sensitive to the user is an important aspect of patient adherence. Dr Rolf Eilers, managing director of Balda Medical, discusses the importance of a tailored, user-focused approach to raising user-compliance consciousness.
Studies have shown that 20-50% of all patients fail to comply correctly with their doctor's advice. These figures are particularly high in cases involving children, the elderly and the long-term sick. Patients are often required to follow their prescriptions without further medical guidance, an issue that is not helped by devices designed without proper end-user consideration. The need, therefore, to understand and effectively administer medicine has become vital.
Creating and producing medical products that meet user-compliance demands is the job of Balda Medical, a leading contract manufacturer for the pharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical device industries. The company provides plastic products such as innovative drug delivery systems and medical packaging to healthcare markets. Balda Medical is a key partner in identifying and realising the right design of medical devices leading to patient adherence. The understanding that comfort, usability and aesthetic appeal all contribute to rates of compliance is of considerable value to patients, practitioners and the contracting pharmaceutical customer.
One of the main issues with compliance is getting the patient to take the correct dose, but pharmaceutical companies rarely provide products with a sufficient range of doses to cover individual patient requirements. According to Balda Medical managing director Dr Rolf Eilers, this means that "the only way to apply solid medicines to children is to split the tablet in a very uncontrolled way". In order to provide an alternative to the crude and sometimes harmful method of pill splitting, Balda Medical created a micro-dosing tablet dispenser.
"We came to the idea of taking micro-tablets, like granules, and then separating and counting them in a mechanical way," Eilers says.
The result is a controlled, accurate and individually tailored way of dispensing drugs. Eilers is confident that the device will be popular. "It can be customised and will have many different applications," he says. "This will be a very interesting step forward for the drug delivery market."
Another user-friendly device from Balda Medical is the electronically assisted tablet dispenser. This design offers various safety features with a reminder function that recognises when a tablet is missed. All relevant information is then displayed on a simplified, intuitive screen with easily worldwide readable graphic symbols.
The two devices reflect the different approaches that Balda Medical takes to business: responding to patterns of consumer preference and taking innovative steps towards setting trends.
"The electronically assisted dispenser was initiated and driven by the customer, whereas the micro-tablet dispenser was initiated and driven by us," Eilers explains.
Founded in 2002 by the Balda Group, Balda Medical is involved in all aspects of the product cycle, from conception and design through to engineering, supply and even regulatory approval.
"We are not just a simple contract manufacturer; we can offer our customers significant central support on everything from R&D to the corresponding documentation fulfilling FDA requirements," says Eilers.
Balda Medical's Germany-based production facility is spread over 15,000m². It boasts sophisticated, camera-controlled machinery with a highly automated production line. The company's expertly manufactured, user-friendly plastic and electronic components are key to the development of drug delivery systems.
Eilers predicts a growing market in compliance-conscious devices as pharmaceutical companies seek ways to add value to their existing products.
"The electronically assisted tablet dispenser was designed in circumstances where the existing product was already a blockbuster for our customer; with him, we were looking for additional value and benefits for the patient," he says.
With safe and efficient drug delivery at the top of the industry's priority list, Balda Medical's ability to produce devices that can administer accurate medical doses, focus on usability and comfort, and boast a strong manufacturing background put the company at the forefront of an important market with an exciting future.
Balda Medical is one of the leading OEM partners for global healthcare players in the varying markets of medical devices, pharma and diagnostics. With passion and enthusiasm for a perfect performance, Balda Medical provides an all-inclusive service package that includes development, industrialisation and production of customer-specific medical devices, handheld devices, drug delivery systems, disposables and packaging for different applications.
Balda is the partner to use for managing complex projects such as lancing devices, blood glucose metering devices, inhalers, pens, applicators, diagnostic devices, complete kits and functional packaging such as tablet dispensers.