The Financial Times
September 22, 209
[efoods]Patients who fail to pop pills on time could soon benefit from having a chip on their shoulder, under a ground-breaking electronic system being developed by Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceuticals group.
The company is testing technology that inserts a tiny microchip into each pill swallowed and sends a reminder to patients by text message if they fail to follow their doctors’ prescriptions.
The partnership with Proteus Biomedical, which originally developed the technology, is one of several alliances under development by Novartis as it and rival pharmaceuticals companies attempt to maintain high prices for innovative medicines by ensuring that they are taken as the doctor ordered. Pfizer’s Health Solutions division has developed a system to telephone patients to encourage them to take medicine.
Joe Jimenez, head of pharmaceuticals at Novartis, said tests using the system – which broadcasts from the “chip in the pill” to a receiver on the shoulder – on 20 patients using Diovan, a drug to lower blood pressure, had boosted “compliance” with prescriptions from 30 per cent to 80 per cent after six months.