Answer: by printing them.
Max Shtein, a professor at the University of Michigan, and Olga Shalev, a recent graduate student, have used an electronics manufacturing method called organic vapor-jet printing to develop a technique for printing medication. This technique allows medications to dissolve much more easily by enabling “high-resolution printing down to a fine crystalline structure,” as reported by Engadget.
This printing technique can also produce multiple medications at the same time, making it ideal for people who take more than one medication daily. “A doctor or pharmacist can choose any number of medications, which the machine would combine into a single dose,” Shtein said in a press release.
While it’s still a long way away from mass-market production, the developers envision this printer one day being used in pharmacies and clinics to quickly deliver mass-market medication. It’s hard not to see the appeal here — just imagine, one day you might not have to come back in a few days because the pharmacy has to wait for another shipment of your medication. Instead, they could just say, “Give us 20 minutes to print some more.”