Politics

New 'smart' drugs tell doctor you're not taking them

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A best-selling antipsychotic drug soon could get so smart, patients can't lie about taking it.

The company that makes Abilify, a popular medication used to treat conditions including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression, is seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration to insert the pills with a chip alerting doctors if a patient fails to ingest it at the right times.

If approved, Abilify would become the first digital drug with an ingestible sensor, opening the door to a new world of "smart" medications that could dramatically improve medical adherence, especially for those who might have difficulty following a doctor's directives.

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"I think you're starting to see these drug products used in more innovative ways," said Wanda Moebius, vice president for public affairs at the Advanced Medical Technology Association. "We're definitely — is it fair to say — on the brink of a new area."

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