3D Printing Drug Compounding Becomes More Relevant During The Coronavirus Crisis


, 3D Printing Drug Compounding Becomes More Relevant During The Coronavirus Crisis

3D printed pharmaceuticals [Source: TMF]

Charles R. Goulding and Preeti Sulibhavi examine drug compounding with 3D printing technology.

On April 6th, 2020, Fox News interviewed leading physician Dr. Bruce Becker, the Chief Medical Officer of Vitae Industries, located in Providence, Rhode Island. Dr. Becker, who admirably returned to practice from retirement to help out during the coronavirus crisis, explained how creating precise drug prescriptions with 3D printing curbside would be an ideal way to get patients the right medicine at the right time in the right place.

Dr. Becker explained how 3D printing can rapidly produce drugs in shortage at reduced labor costs. Like telemedicine and drive-in swab testing, 3D printing drug compounding brings medicine to the patient when and where it is needed.

3D printing drug compounding is ideal for patients being treated in tents, convention centers, ship hospitals, cruise ship infirmaries, and other field locations including military deployments.

Retail drug compounders are exclusively licensed by state governments to provide drugs that mainstream drugstore chains don’t or can’t provide. Our drug compounding clients offer an invaluable service by providing custom medicines to children, nursing home residents and the disabled. Oftentimes patients with unique physical and medical conditions are unable to purchase the drugs they require from a CVS or Walgreens. At compounding pharmacies, licensed pharmacists can now mix precise compounds using new and improved 3D printing solutions.


There are many additional benefits of integrating 3D printing processes with drug compounding. Many specialized prescriptions require refrigeration which can be compromised when shipping delays occur. With localized 3D printing drug formulation, the pharmacist and patient can be sure the compound has remained refrigerated. 3D printing can also enhance drug efficacy, as some drugs require continuous doses. With 3D printing, pills can be layered in a way that the medicine is released into the patient’s system at the scheduled time interval.


, 3D Printing Drug Compounding Becomes More Relevant During The Coronavirus Crisis

3D printing medication [Source: Telegraph]

R&D tax credits are available for new and improved drug compounding 3D printing technology improvements and the commercial pharmacies that learn how to use them.

The Research & Development Tax Credit

Enacted in 1981, the now permanent Federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit allows a credit that typically ranges from 4%-7% of eligible spending for new and improved products and processes. Qualified research must meet the following four criteria:

  • Must be technological in nature

  • Must be a component of the taxpayer’s business

  • Must represent R&D in the experimental sense and generally includes all such costs related to the development or improvement of a product or process

  • Must eliminate uncertainty through a process of experimentation that considers one or more alternatives

Eligible costs include US employee wages, cost of supplies consumed in the R&D process, cost of pre-production testing, US contract research expenses, and certain costs associated with developing a patent.

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the PATH Act, making the R&D Tax Credit permanent. Beginning in 2016, the R&D credit has been used to offset Alternative Minimum Tax for companies with revenue below $50MM, and startup businesses can obtain up to $250,000 per year in cash rebates applied directly toward payroll taxes.

Cure to the Panacea

Just as telemedicine has become mainstream seemingly overnight, 3D printing drugs may eventually become widely available as local and even household resources. During this time of crisis, we need more efficient and effective ways of treating patients. 3D printing is key to finding solutions to this problem.

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