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3PC-031 Usability of semi-solid extrusion 3D printing in hospital pharmacy settings to produce personalised oral medications for paediatric patients
  1. M Rautamo1,2,
  2. HM Tolonen1,2,
  3. N Asinger3,
  4. H Ruutiainen1,2,
  5. S Kuitunen1,2,
  6. S Kälvemark Sporrong4,
  7. M Sivén2,
  8. M Paulsson3,5
  1. 1Hus Helsinki University Hospital, Hus Pharmacy, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2University of Helsinki, Faculty of Pharmacy, Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3Uppsala University Hospital, Hospital Pharmacy Department, Uppsala, Sweden
  4. 4Uppsala University, Department of Pharmacy, Uppsala, Sweden
  5. 5Uppsala University, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala, Sweden


Background and Importance In paediatric hospitals, the lack of age-appropriate licensed medicines for oral use has traditionally been solved by extemporaneous manufacturing of oral liquids, suspensions, dose powders and capsules in hospital pharmacies, and manual drug manipulation at hospital wards. However, there is still a need for new alternatives to provide personalised child-friendly drug formulations and novel printing technologies may present a solution. Despite the recent progress in the development of 3D printers for pharmaceutical applications, there is a lack of research on their usability in extemporaneous manufacturing in hospital pharmacy settings.

Aim and Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the perspectives of hospital pharmacy personnel on the usability of semi-solid extrusion printing.

Material and Methods This qualitative study was conducted as focus group discussions in two university hospitals in two Nordic countries. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians (n=43) from the hospital pharmacies, working within drug manufacturing, compounding, or quality control, participated. Participants did not have previous experience in using 3D printing. Prior to attending the focus groups, they received a demonstration on a semi-solid extrusion 3D printer (Curify MiniLab, CurifyLabs, Finland) and performed the steps in the manufacturing process. A semi-structured interview guide was used to moderate the discussions, which were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. In addition, observations were made during the demonstrations as well as the focus group discussions.

Results Many participants perceived the equipment as easy to use. Suggestions for equipment specific development and process optimisation were brought up in the conversations, such as, use of auxiliary tools, disposable cartridges and nozzles, and printing directly into blisters. Benefits and risks associated with quality perspectives, such as drug accuracy and stability, occupational safety, patient safety, and drug administration were recognised. For example, the 3D printed doses had a pleasant aroma and texture and were easier to produce than dose powders.

Conclusion and Relevance To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the perspectives of hospital pharmacy staff on the usability of semi-solid extrusion printing in drug manufacturing in a hospital environment. Our results show that, despite identified further development needs, the manufacturing process shows great potential.

Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.

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