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Using 3D printing to shorten drug supply chains — Medically Necessary

Getting more drug production in the US could depend on technology adoption

Medically Necessary is a podcast by Matt Blois about the health care supply chain — how we get drugs, devices and medical supplies to health care providers and patients.

Most of the drugs sold in the U.S. come from overseas, exposing those supply chains to disruptions like natural disasters or political conflicts. Some researchers argue that using 3D printing to make drugs at the site of care could increase resiliency.  

Matt Blois talks to one of those researchers on this episode of Medically Necessary, welcoming Sheng Qi from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. The two discuss using 3D printers to produce personalized drugs for patients. 

When it comes to drugs, the promise of 3D printing is personalization. Health care providers could provide a dose that precisely matches a patient’s needs. The hope is that a more precise dose would reduce side effects and increase benefits. It’s also possible to do things like combining multiple medications into a single pill to make it easier for patients to adhere to complex medication regimens.

You can find more Medically Necessary episodes and recaps for all our live podcasts here.

Kaylee Nix

Kaylee Nix is a meteorologist and reporter for FreightWaves. She joined the company in November of 2020 after spending two years as a broadcast meteorologist for a local television channel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kaylee graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2018 and immediately made the Tennessee Valley her home. Kaylee creates written summaries of FreightWaves live podcasts and cultivates the social media for FreightWaves TV.