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Edible "Intelligent Pills"

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the success-with-heart-failure dept.

Medicine 105

Ian Lamont sends along a brief note from the Industry Standard about "intelligent" pills that can help doctors record information about drug dosages, heart rate, respiratory rate, and other metrics. The pills, being developed by Proteus Biomedicals, have "digestible sensors" made out of food products and are activated by stomach fluids. A receiver that is similar to a skin patch picks up the data and can be passed on to a 3G mobile network, and from there to hospitals or doctors' offices. According to the Proteus site, the sensors cost a few cents per pill. The devices, currently in clinical trials, made #8 on Wired's list of the top technology breakthroughs of 2008.

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105 comments

Not what I need (4, Funny)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538147)

Wake me when they have edible intelligence pills.

Re:Not what I need (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538195)

Tell me about it.

Most exciting headline which turned out to be me misreading it EVER.

Re:Not what I need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540629)

Yeah. I was considering buying stock in the company and then going down the street shoving handfuls down people's throats. Anything. ANYTHING to get us up to the 19th century.

Re:Not what I need (3, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538387)

Wake me when they have edible intelligence pills.

That's actually what they are, but the side-effect is either diminished typing skills or diminished grammar skills, not sure which yet though.

Re:Not what I need (5, Insightful)

Sicily1918 (912141) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538719)

Waiting patiently for Mentats, eh?

Re:Not what I need (3, Funny)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#26539245)

Not to mention buffout. Though I always tend to get addicted to the stuff.

Re:Not what I need (0, Redundant)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540697)

oh crap, you beat me to the punch and I don't even have a mod point to award you sir! Which kinda sucks, because I would have also increased your Karma. But I guess you can save Megaton and reach Excellent karma pretty fast

Oblig Fallout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26538843)

No kidding! I've got terminals to hack.

Re:Not what I need (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538909)

those do exist - only you cant have any (HaHA [in nelson voice])

no seriously they do exist - they are used for Alzheimer's and are very interesting. (actually when you think about it, any treatment for Alzheimer's would be one that makes you smarter ;)

Re:Not what I need (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26546733)

How would a drug that partially compensated for a physiological defect necessarily make someone without the defect smarter?

I would tend to think that it wouldn't.

Re:Not what I need (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26538985)

Make sure they're edible ones, I'd hate to have some inedible pills.

Re:Not what I need (3, Funny)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542569)

Good news! It's a suppository.

Re:Not what I need (1)

BlueCollarTweaked (1400939) | more than 5 years ago | (#26549569)

One of the awful side effects, though, is a bufferin overflow..

Re:Not what I need (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26545329)

Like these [givenimaging.com] ? I'm kinda glad they're inedible.

Re:Not what I need (1)

Simulant (528590) | more than 5 years ago | (#26539011)

    Or better yet, intelligence suppositories.

Re:Not what I need (3, Funny)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540957)

I don't know where your brain is, buddy. I'm not sure I want to know.

Re:Not what I need (1)

ChangelingJane (1042436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542613)

You never know, some dinosaurs had bum brains...

Re:Not what I need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26539787)

I thought this thread was about MenTats

Re:Not what I need (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540311)

Nope. Mentos. The freshmaker...

Re:Not what I need (1)

JAZ (13084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26539919)

try Adrafinil.

Re:Not what I need (4, Funny)

enemorales (1172133) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540417)

If these pills are so smart, how is it they cannot avoid been eaten?

Re:Not what I need (1)

Offreality (1412235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541107)

yes yes! I want an Intelligence pill :(

Re:Not what I need (1)

Sinbios (852437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542643)

I think they call it iodine.

Re:Not what I need (1)

Manuel M (1308979) | more than 5 years ago | (#26543529)

Wake me when they have edible intelligence pills.

Could they be a substitute for food when we all become zombies and crave for brains?

Re:Not what I need (1)

BlueCollarTweaked (1400939) | more than 5 years ago | (#26549269)

I have your 30 day supply right here.. I just need your credit card number.

3G? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538175)

Pills that cost a few cents, tied to a relatively expensive device that needs expensive airtime.
Not the cleverest plan, especially if you want to bring this to the masses.

Re:3G? (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538449)

I'm also confused. Why's everything got to be a phone app these days? Why does my sniper rifle need an ipod? Why's my doctor have to use his blackberry to tell me if I have the clap? Why can I use my phone when the plane is on the ground but not a calculator? ...I guess that last one really didn't have much to do with what I was whining about, but 3 examples just seems better than 2.

Re:3G? (1)

deraj123 (1225722) | more than 5 years ago | (#26539085)

Why does my sniper rifle need an ipod?

Why's my doctor have to use his blackberry to tell me if I have the clap?

Why not? If somebody wants to produce it, and somebody else thinks it's worth paying for, why not?

Re:3G? (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26539931)

Why does my sniper rifle need an ipod?

Why's my doctor have to use his blackberry to tell me if I have the clap?

Why not? If somebody wants to produce it, and somebody else thinks it's worth paying for, why not?

Because it's an abomnation unto the lord.

Re:3G? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541045)

cost is your main concern? I don't think your spleen is going to be doing much texting anyway. I'd be concerned about point blank cell phone band radiation. If living under a cell tower gives you cancer and putting the cell phone an inch from your brain maybe causes cancer, what's it going to do when it's touching your tissue? In fact, a year or two ago they had a story on wireless chips inside pets having a ridiculously high cancer rate in the surrounding tissue because of the point blank wireless signals. It's not dangerous at 1 foot away or one inch but the strength gets exponentially as you get closer so when it's 0.001 mm away from your living cells, you've got a problem. At that range, you could probably climb a cell phone tower and lick the transmitter and get less of an intense dose of radiation because you'd still be a couple inches away from the place it emits from.

Re:3G? (1)

kklein (900361) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541691)

Yeah, progress in the merging of new and existing technology to better and lengthen lives is stupid.

Problems... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538183)

What happens when bugs in the software mess this up? In most fields, the computer is always right. And honestly, I don't want the data to be messed up that could cost someone their life.

Re:Problems... (4, Insightful)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538331)

Oh you mean like when the computer displayin MRI imagery screws up? Or the computer talking between the hospital and your insurance policy? Or the computer doing traffic lights? Or the computer running your car? Or the computer reading radar data for an air control tower?

Seriously, there ARE other companies out there making software that are not diebold and can make something as simple as a counter ... hell, they can probably make the complex stuff work too since it's obviously worked rather well in the past.

Re:Problems... (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538989)

Add to this the fact you'd be able to swallow multiple of the same type of pill to ensure the results are correct and you have a decent system.

No system is 100% failsafe, computerised or not. I really wish these luddites would stop posting on slashdot, it kind of goes against your philosophies.

You know, what if what you type is malformed into something that deteriorates your character?

Security? (4, Interesting)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538185)

can be passed on to a 3G mobile network

So... how secure is this? I can't imagine anyone other than my doctor (and not even him, probably) are that interested in my biometrics, but I am not comfortable with the information being broadcast over a network.

The summary links to a stub which links to the actual article, [usatoday.com] which describes how the network-enabled system could be used:

Caregivers or relatives will know when and what pills patients have taken or if the patients failed to take their medications.

So you can watch Grandma forget to take her pills - in real time!

Re:Security? (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26539437)

"So... how secure is this? I can't imagine anyone other than my doctor (and not even him, probably) are that interested in my biometrics, but I am not comfortable with the information being broadcast over a network. "

But how else would skynet manipulate with your medicines in order to kill you so you wont start a revolution against it in the future?

Re:Security? (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26545375)

Just try snarfing and decrypting CDMA data. Good luck with that.

Yes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26538219)

I for one welcome our intelligent pill overlords

Re:Yes! (0, Offtopic)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538983)

I for one welcome our intelligent pill overlords

At least they'll be better than our intelligent deuterium ore-valords.

If it works, it will become part of society. (-1, Offtopic)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538243)

Think about it. When calculators first came out, they were often outlawed in math courses because teachers thought that if you used a calculator than you wouldn't be able to do the problems later in life. Once people realized though that no one in their right mind would abstain from a calculator outside of the classroom though, they became accepted. <br>
I have a feeling this will take the same course. It'll be used at first for medicine, yea. But eventually it'll find its way into classrooms, to the disdain of the teachers. After another era it will become accepted for use, and finally required. It's not hard to imagine a course that along side of the necessary books lists the prescription for the drugs you'll be required to take.<br>
Don't get me wrong though, it's not a bad thing. It's simply society changing. I for one welcome it (and I'm not just playing on the /. gag).

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (3, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538305)

Um, because clearly students will want to monitor... their heart rates... while they're ... taking tests(?)... and teachers won't want that to happen? Wha...?

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (1)

Esc7 (996317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538539)

Wow, yeah I think this is a new low for slashdot, not only did he not RTFA he didn't RTFS and apparently only RTFH.

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538777)

Gym class. Keep your heart rate on target, knock back some sugar just as your blood glucose dips, pop some taurine when your lactic acid starts to rise, etc.

Or, alternately, atheletes. Those guys will try anything that isn't explicitly outlawed, and many will keep going after it is.

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 5 years ago | (#26545823)

More like an edible (transportable) lie detector? Isn't that what current lie detectors do, check heart rate changes? Even though they can be false, doesn't mean they will always be false.

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538561)

"After another era it will become accepted for use, and finally required. It's not hard to imagine a course that along side of the necessary books lists the prescription for the drugs you'll be required to take.
Don't get me wrong though, it's not a bad thing. It's simply society changing. I for one welcome it (and I'm not just playing on the /. gag)"

You' gotta be kidding but if that's how you feel, I think you're going to really enjoy whatever is coming your way. Don't cry when they drag you off to
have mandatory prostrate surgery because you're in the age group say 40+ and have a "risk gene". Or maybe they'll put you on a regimen of mandatory
prophylactic hormone surpression that will make you lose all interests in sex .. yet certain other men find the breasts it is growing you really
attractive. Or how about some extra Xanax or Paxil to cheer up your days, never mind that the Xanax is giving you extra anxiety at the dosage
they want you to take it.. hehe nothing to worry about right? It's just society changing and boy you're sure going to welcome that :-)

Damm I really wish I could see you go through all those mandatory prescriptions and treatments with a smile on your face. I would inject you myself
with whatever and without any qualms, because you deserve it.

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26538743)

Don't cry when they drag you off to have mandatory prostrate surgery

Believe it or not, I actually prefer to be lying down when they operate on me.

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (3, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26539725)

Honestly, that isn't fair. They won't start doing that to the current adults. They will just make it 'mandatory' for entrance into public schools, kind of like immunizations. Then it is just a matter of waiting for it to become universal.

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540371)

Sounds a bit like THX1138, and not the modern "remaster" that shows people getting out of the way (instead of knocked off the scaffolding).

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538951)

I have a feeling this will take the same course. It'll be used at first for medicine, yea. But eventually it'll find its way into classrooms, to the disdain of the teachers. After another era it will become accepted for use, and finally required. It's not hard to imagine a course that along side of the necessary books lists the prescription for the drugs you'll be required to take.

Don't get me wrong though, it's not a bad thing. It's simply society changing. I for one welcome it (and I'm not just playing on the /. gag).

Everything you think, do, and say
Is in the pill you took today.

In the year 4545....

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26539463)

...Ain't gonna need your teeth, won't need your eyes
You won't find a thing to do
Nobody's gonna look at you...

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26548651)

...Ain't gonna need your teeth, won't need your eyes
You won't find a thing to do
Nobody's gonna look at you...

The line is, "You won't find a thing to chew." Hence the lack of teeth.

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26545449)

I actually heard that song on the radio the other day. I remember hearing it for the first time at my uncle's house on a 45 - I played it over and over. Sci-fi meets pop music. In case you don't know what we're talking about, it was a song [wikipedia.org] that took a stab at predicting the future in 1010 year increments starting in 2525. I was 4 in 1969 when it was released. Sheesh, that makes me feel old!

Re:If it works, it will become part of society. (1)

majpue (1203478) | more than 5 years ago | (#26539417)

IntelligenT, not intelligenCE. They record your vitals, not make you smart.

8Th? (0, Offtopic)

rcuhljr (1132713) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538249)

Did subby read the article? it placed 9th on the list I saw.

A boon to compliance monitoring (4, Insightful)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538283)

Oh this is going to be a boon to compliance monitoring. With that kind of 24/7 monitoring
it becomes easy to really lock down a person's life. All kinds of monitoring comes to mind,
from drug use to the absence of using prescribed medications, ingestion of approved or
unapproved foods or even 'unapproved' activities say that raise heartbeat or blood pressure
or again the lack of activities.

Re:A boon to compliance monitoring (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540045)

Oh this is going to be a boon to compliance monitoring. With that kind of 24/7 monitoring
it becomes easy to really lock down a person's life.

boon to compliance monitoring != an increase in compliance.

Visit 1.
Doctor: Patient, you need to do A,B,C
Patient: Doctor, I understand that I need to do A,B,C
Reality: XY% of patients do whatever they want

Visit 2.
Doctor: The tests show that you aren't making as much progress as you should be.
Patient: I know, [endless list of excuses] is why I haven't.

The only way to lock down a person's life is to literally lock it down.
That's why everyone who can afford it does in-patient therapy/rehab/weight loss (or gain)/etc.

Re:A boon to compliance monitoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541137)

I think the GP had more Orwellian consequences in mind.

Re:A boon to compliance monitoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542309)

boon to compliance monitoring != an increase in compliance.

Compliance monitoring != doctor does the monitoring

Visit 1.
Doctor: Patient, you need to do A,B,C
Patient: Doctor, I understand that I need to do A,B,C

Reality: Patient forgets to do A,B,C. Phone receives alert that patient forgot to do A,B,C. Phone alerts patient. Patient does A,B,C.

Re:A boon to compliance monitoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26544699)

You've forgotten all the belligerent douche bags who think they know better than their doctor.

Re:A boon to compliance monitoring (1)

DiamondMX (1147759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26545869)

You appear to have forgotten that with the overpopulation problem, we could do with pruning a few belligerent douche bags who think they know better than their doctor.
Let *them* ignore doctor's advice without good reason, see if it kills *me*.

Re:A boon to compliance monitoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26545061)

Rubbish.

A lack of compliance with instructions given by doctors can signify several things: either the doctor didn't actually explain well enough why doing A,B,C is necessary or beneficial (particularly true when there's conflicting medical theories about what is best in any given case, and the patient has already talked to other doctors who gave different advice); or the patient simply isn't interested enough in having his condition cured.

The latter isn't necessarily stupidity, either: it may well be a weighing of trade-offs. If my doctor told me that in order to stop my headaches, I repeatedly have to whack myself with a hammer every day, I wouldn't do that, either: the price I'd pay just wouldn't be worth the benefit.

Same for weight loss and so on. (Therapy - at least psychotherapy - is a bad example insofar as that it doesn't require you to do actually do anything other than attend; your therapist may suggest you do certain things, but if you find you cannot, that's OK as well, and just means that you're not ready yet). Speaking as someone who's lost almost a hundred pounds last year, I can say that for me, the trade-off was worth it, but I can also see why it might not be to others.

In the end, the problem is probably that people want to have their cake and eat it, too: they want to be cured of what ails them yet don't want to do anything for it.

Re:A boon to compliance monitoring (2, Funny)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26545379)

It does if the pill, on its way out, releases Habanero juice into your guts if it detects that you've been a bad boy and not taken your meds.

Damn! Intelligent Pills don't make me smart (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538291)

Anyone else reading the article think "Hot damn! Now I'll be able to do that PhD, get laid, get rich and retire in 5 years. I just have to pop lots of pills"? Sometimes reading the article (or even the summary in this case) can be a real bummer. I should've known better.

Re:Damn! Intelligent Pills don't make me smart (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540247)

I know you're joking, but wanted to allay a common misconception.

A Ph. D. doesn't work that way, and however helpful intelligence might be to getting one, it isn't sufficient alone. You also need a large degree of tolerance for absurdity. Actually, I've found Ph. D. comics [phdcomics.com] to be a pretty accurate portrayal of the sort of stuff that goes on in grad. school and academia.

Re:Damn! Intelligent Pills don't make me smart (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541011)

A Ph. D. doesn't work that way, and however helpful intelligence might be to getting one, it isn't sufficient alone. You also need a large degree of tolerance for absurdity.

I know. I have a Masters. Part of me wonders if I'll regret never having gone for a PhD. However I could never tolerate the BS and it would be a hellish few years of my life with next to no pay....in a way it's too late for me anyway. I 33, married, and have a 5 month old. If I were going to get a PhD. I should have done it by now, before I had such responsibilities.

Re:Damn! Intelligent Pills don't make me smart (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26543323)

add to that a tolerance for vindictive assholery too... or the willingness to out asshole the guy(s) with power over you...

And the ability/willingness to choke back the truth when it tries to escape your throat... hardest thing I ever had to do as a Ph.D. student was not tell one of my committee members how frigging stupid he was when he asked a question that was answered by the previous 10 minutes of explanation in my defence... sort of like:

me: and so if you put hot air in the balloon it expands and rises off the ground
him: Hmmmm, well so do you think that we could get the balloon to rise off the ground if we put hot air in it?

That example is only slightly over-simplified btw.

Re:Damn! Intelligent Pills don't make me smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26544465)

I wanted the "Make you smarter" pills.

Everyone else line up if you also thought they were these.

Damn you science! Damn you!
Give me Smarties, actual Smarties, not those phony kind that clog up your veins and make you dumber.

These pills taste like (4, Funny)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538377)

..rabbit shit!"

"See, you're getting smarter already!"

Re:These pills taste like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26538445)

..rabbit shit!"

"See, you're getting smarter already!"

Ha ha! I was hoping someone posted that old joke :)

Misleading description (4, Interesting)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538381)

Proteus ingestible event markers (IEMs) are tiny, digestible sensors made from food ingredients, which are activated by stomach fluids after swallowing.

The IEM is manufactured on silicon wafers...

Last I checked, humans cannot digest silicon, so this thing is not entirely "made from food ingredients".
Also, I would have been mighty surprised if food ingredients could transmit digital signals.

Re:Misleading description (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26539027)

"Manufactured on" doesn't mean "manufactured out of" so I think you may be jumping to conclusions. The silicon may just form a working surface for the manufacturing process.

Re:Misleading description (1)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541911)

Maybe, but why would they use silicon at all, then? If they can do the DSP using food-based circuits, then they would not need silicon.
I would definitely like to see more detail from them.

Oblig. Futurama (4, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538419)

Fry: I can't swallow that!
Farnsworth: Well then, good news! It's a suppository.

Re:Oblig. Futurama (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538901)

Yeah, as reference humor, IMO this situation calls more for a rephrasing of the line thus:

Subject: Edible "Intelligent Pills"

Good news! It's not a suppository!

and waiting for someone to claim "edible pill" was redundant and posting it as a reply to that. But you've pulled the trigger on that joke.

Instead now I'll have to find an opportunity to compare "Intelligent Pills" to to "Intelligent Deuterium Ore". Oh, I just did. Well, crap.

Intelligent, edible, inflatable... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538519)

Once this is combined with Dr Schlock's inflatable technology, Zuul will be unleashed as a giant intelligent edible marshmallow.

And the Aliens (4, Funny)

JumpDrive (1437895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538523)

And all this time the aliens have been probing my ass, when all's they had to do is make me swallow a pill.
Those bastards.

Re:And the Aliens (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 5 years ago | (#26543555)

are you sure they're aliens?

Re:And the Aliens (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26546569)

What do you think they were looking for? Have you ever tried to pick up a 3g signal in a corn field?

Space Ghost (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538643)

Thom Yorke: Do you take those... those intelligence drugs?

SG: I don't need intelligent drugs, Thom, because I don't know what they are. But I will put anything into my mouth that's offered to me, whether it's meant to go there or not! Because... I'm different.

Thom Yorke (laughing): It's because your weird!

Re:Space Ghost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26539687)

Tentacle porn?

Is it OK .... (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538697)

... to mix these intelligence pills with booze? That way we could break even.

Re:Is it OK .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26538877)

You misread (I think everyone did at first glance); they are intelligent pills. They won't make you smarter, but it will allow a lot more people to know information about your body.

Wired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26538827)

It's number 9 on Wired's list.
Not eight. :)

Smart pills? (0, Offtopic)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538837)

Ah! These are the opposite of the stupid pills Mr. Potato head spoke of. Interesting.

Digestable intelligent pills (4, Funny)

joeyblades (785896) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538865)

Nit pick, but suppositories not withstanding, most pills are edible...

Actually, most suppositories are probably edible... but I digest...errr... digress ;-)

2 cents to make... (5, Insightful)

jazcap (1125477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26538943)

200 bucks to buy. That's what I have trouble digesting.

Re:2 cents to make... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26547835)

2 cents to make... marginal cost.

Fixed costs (product development, research, testing, manufacturing equipment, etc) are far higher unless they are selling millions of the pills.

I know, pharma costs are super high, and the sales/marketing expense side is just disgusting... but it's really annoying when people look at the marginal cost to produce a good and forget that the retail price is influenced by other costs as well.

Given time, and a mature product and market, perhaps wholesale price will come down somewhat near marginal cost of the pill... but all that overhead still needs to be paid for.

Re:2 cents to make... (1)

jazcap (1125477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26550421)

The marginal costs to produce pharmaceuticals are significant, and often unpredictable. This is especially true of R&D. And drug companies are entitled to recoup those costs, as well as make a reasonable profit. But are they entitled to make a *disgusting* profit? On a product that literally means life or death to the consumer? The pharmaceutical industry is consistently among the most profitable in the world. In several years during this past decade, they have been *the* most profitable. Is this morally justified? In addition, as a taxpayer, I have funded some small part of the vast research efforts that went into the technologies upon which the new developments depend. Doesn't this give me some right to ask my government to place limits on the returns drug companies can expect on their investments? In the absence of regulation, corporations will charge what the market will bear for any good. They will reap whatever profit, obscene or otherwise, that they can-- without regard to the public weal. In the case of pharmaceuticals, this works decidedly *against* the good of the society, as today's out-of-control health care costs clearly demonstrate.

Drink me, eat me. (0, Offtopic)

Neanderthal Ninny (1153369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26539207)

This looks like something from "Inner space" sans Dennis Quaid character "Lt. Tuck Pendelton".

"SOMA" brave new world - join the tranqforce (1)

rawdirt (464725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26539379)

from wikipedia...

"All members of society are conditioned in childhood to hold the values that the World State idealizes. Constant consumption is the bedrock of stability for the World State. Everyone is encouraged to consume the ubiquitous drug, soma. Soma is a hallucinogen that takes users on enjoyable, hangover-free "vacations"."

This gives a whole new meaning... (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540111)

...to the phrase, "Take two of these and call me in the morning."

activated by stomach fluids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26540767)

Taco Bell?

haha (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26540797)

Got to be pretty dumb to swallow that one.

Straight from Fallout (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541053)

should call them "Mentats."

Blue or Red? (1)

TheCybernator (996224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542847)

I would prefer the Blue one. Thanks.

Pain meds (2, Interesting)

agwis (690872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26543115)

I imagine this is not good news for a number of reasons...but one I can think of personally is pain medication users. Doctors nowadays are hesitant to prescribe schedule II meds because it is closely monitored and there are numerous cases where they have been reprimanded because of it, if not outright losing their licenses and possibly even facing criminal charges.

Chronic pain sufferers that have sought relief from strong meds inevitably build up tolerance to them, and in turn need to take more to achieve the same effect. Many Doctors assume addiction or worse, that patients are selling their meds (because of the high price they can get on the streets for them) when confronted with requests for higher dosages or quantities. Usually at this point, they try to pawn their patients off to pain clinics (which isn't generally a bad thing), refuse the request, or cut the patient off entirely. Either they don't understand titration or they just don't want to have patients who consume large quantities of pain meds to get the relief they need. Apparently certain types of drugs are monitored and one patient that has a high tolerance can affect the Doctors prescribing ratio, sending a red flag that he needs to be watched more closely. Because of this, many patients subsidize their prescribed drugs with street drugs to achieve the relief they need in order to maintain a decent quality of life. Illegal? Yes. Necessary? Sadly, in more cases than people realize.

I've seen where Doctors have forced patients to sign contracts with all kinds of stipulations...the consequence of any being broken that they would be immediately cut off and labelled a 'drug seeker'. When this happens, good luck to them getting prescriptions elsewhere. Surely if these 'reporting' pills are cost effective and reliable...it won't be long before most Doctors are requiring all pain patients to use them. Whether it's a lack of trust or not in the Doctor/patient relationship...they need to protect their livelihood and this may end up being the best method.

Re:Pain meds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26550275)

I know, this is terrible news! I'm one of those who buy pills off the street (for recreational purposes, of course). I don't want this to screw up the market!

1970's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26543947)

Dr. Walter Bishop created intelligent pills in his lab back in the 70's.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#26546319)

Waiting patiently for Mentats, eh?

Dr. Hanky? (1)

whitelabrat (469237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26548639)

Poo bots? Hiiideee ho!

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