|Publication number||US20030070394 A1|
|Application number||US 09/981,462|
|Publication date||Apr 17, 2003|
|Filing date||Oct 17, 2001|
|Priority date||Oct 17, 2001|
|Publication number||09981462, 981462, US 2003/0070394 A1, US 2003/070394 A1, US 20030070394 A1, US 20030070394A1, US 2003070394 A1, US 2003070394A1, US-A1-20030070394, US-A1-2003070394, US2003/0070394A1, US2003/070394A1, US20030070394 A1, US20030070394A1, US2003070394 A1, US2003070394A1|
|Original Assignee||Ron Rosenbaum|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (18), Classifications (8), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates generally to the field of automated pharmaceutical product packaging methods and machinery. More specifically, the present invention is directed to automated pharmaceutical product packaging systems and methods which ensure that a pharmaceutical product package label accurately reflects the contents of the product package.
 In accordance with a preferred exemplary embodiment of the present invention, product package coding techniques are utilized such that prior to or after automatically filling a particular pharmaceutical product package with selected pharmaceuticals as specified in a patient prescription, the packaging systems and methods employ a specific code identifier or designator located on the packaging material that is recognized by the system. The system then creates an association or correlation between the identifying code and the particular prescription that is filled into the package. The pharmaceutical product package is then preferably automatically filled with the desired specified pharmaceutical products.
 Subsequently, during the packaging label printing process the product package code or designator is again scanned or otherwise recognized by the system and a label is thereafter generated that corresponds to the pharmaceutical contained in the package based on the identifying code. The printed label that is directly placed on the package therefore accurately reflects the actual contents of the pharmaceutical product package.
 2. Description of the Related Art
 Currently, in the field of pharmaceutical product packaging it is not uncommon for large filling machines to fill a plurality of individual dosing packets of an overall pharmaceutical product package with one or more prescribed pharmaceuticals for a patient. In the typical conventional packaging systems, a product package is comprised of a plurality of individual dosage packets. Usually the individual dosing packets are arranged in a three or four by seven matrix within the overall package. This configuration is a simple way in which to provide three or four daily doses than of multiple medications for a given week.
 In this conventional configuration, each of the dosage packets contains one or more prescribed doses of a particular pharmaceutical. Typically the dosage packets are arranged on a card and the card of dosage packets is filled with an automated filling machine that selectively places one or more prescribed doses of pharmaceuticals in each of the individual dosage packets within the overall package. In the conventional systems and methods for filling these packages, once the medications have been inserted into the dosage packets, the overall package is further processed and a label is subsequently generated which identifies the specific medications contained in the package. Once the label has been printed it is placed on the product package so that users may readily identify the contents of the package. Alternatively, the label may be printed directly on the overall product package
 One of the shortcomings of the existing typical conventional packaging process is that the machines and the overall packaging process occasionally must be interrupted due to a malfunction of the packaging machinery or for some other reason. The packaging process is then restarted at some future point in time. Unfortunately, these interruptions sometimes result in a failure to accurately print a product package contents label that corresponds with the pharmaceutical product package. This is typically due to the fact that some confusion arises as to which pharmaceutical products have been inserted into the packaging material when interruptions occur.
 The failure to provide a pharmaceutical product package label that accurately reflects the contents of the product package can have devastating consequences. Some patients may receive inadequate doses of desired medications. Others may receive inappropriate medications that can exacerbate the underlying condition for which the patient is being treated. These errors can result in patient illnesses or death.
 The existing machines and the typical conventional process for filling pharmaceutical product packages provides inadequate safeguards for ensuring that a pharmaceutical product package label accurately reflects the contents of the pharmaceutical package. Accordingly, there remains a need in the field for improved automated pharmaceutical product packaging systems and methods which ensure that the product package label accurately reflects the contents of the package. One object and advantage of the present invention is to provide an automated pharmaceutical product package system and method that is not susceptible to inaccurate labeling of the resultant product package. Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent in light of the following Summary and Detailed Description of the Presently Preferred Embodiments.
 The present invention is directed to systems and methods for automatically filling pharmaceutical product packages with prescribed medications at the specified doses and for quickly and accurately ensuring that the correct label is associated with a particular pharmaceutical product package. In accordance with a preferred exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the automated machinery includes a computer code scanner that scans a code or identifier associated with a particular pharmaceutical product package to be filled.
 In accordance with a preferred exemplary embodiment of the present invention, this computer code scanner is a bar-code scanner which scans a package identifying code on a product package to be filled with prescribed medications, vitamins or pharmaceuticals. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that codes, identifiers or designators other than bar-codes may be utilized by the overall packaging systems in order to uniquely identify the package. For example, alphanumeric or numeric codes may be utilized in conjunction with OCR scanning in order to automatically recognize a unique package identifier. Alternatively, a system operator may simply enter in a designated code or other identifier associated with the particular package to be filled.
 The system then generates an association or correlation between the identifier or code associated with the package and a particular a patient prescription that is to be filled by the machine. The machine then automatically fills the prescribed medications and doses into the individual dosage package of the overall pharmaceutical product package.
 Thereafter, subsequent to filling the individual dosage packages with the prescribed product, the system uses the association or correlation between the package code or identifier and the patient prescription that was previously filled into the product package in order to generate the appropriate package label. This is accomplished by reading the package designating code or identifier prior to printing the label for the package. After this code or identifier has been read, the system uses the correlation between the package designator and the patient prescription in order to generate the label. As a result, it is impossible to inadvertently mislabel the pharmaceutical product package. Only the specific label associated with the particular prescription can be printed on the product package due to the unique correspondence between the identifying code or package designator and the patient prescription that was deposited into the product package. The systems and methods of the present invention provide a means for quickly and accurately generating the label for a pharmaceutical product package that is filled via an automatic filling process.
FIG. 1 is a block system diagram that illustrates a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention.
 A first exemplary embodiment of the present invention is shown generally at 10 in FIG. 1. In accordance with the preferred exemplary embodiment of the present invention, an automated solid pharmaceutical product package filling station 12 preferably includes code scanning mechanism 14. As noted above, in accordance with the preferred exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the code scanning mechanism is desirably a bar-code scanner that recognizes a bar-code package designator either on or otherwise associated with a pharmaceutical product package. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that other scanning mechanism may be utilized as well for reading a code or package designator associated with a pharmaceutical product package to be filled by the automated filling station 12. In particular, it is important to note that a code scanner such as OCR alphanumeric recognition systems or even data entry by a system operator may be utilized in order to receive a package designator into the system that may be used to create an association between a patient prescription and the particular package to be filled.
 In accordance with the preferred exemplary embodiment, the code scanner is a bar-code mechanism for scanning a bar-code, associated with the product package. The bar-code is preferably printed on the product package to be filled with a desired a patient prescription. In accordance with the preferred exemplary embodiment, once the package code, designator or identifier is recognized by the system, the automated filling machine thereafter fills individual compartments for dosage packets of the overall pharmaceutical product package with the specified and medications and doses as set forth in a patient prescription. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the system may create the association between the package identifier or designator immediately after the package has been filled, however, it is preferred that the system recognize the package identifier or designator prior to filling the patient prescription into the overall product package.
 During further processing of the pharmaceutical product package, it is necessary for a label to be generated which identifies the contents of the product package. In accordance with the preferred exemplary embodiment of the system, an automated printing station 18 includes a further scanner 20 that is used to identify the product package code or designator. In the preferred exemplary embodiment, this further scanner is also a bar-code reader. However, as noted above, other scanning mechanisms are similarly suitable for identifying the product package. It should be recognized that a single scanner may be utilized at both the filling station and the printing station. In an alternate configuration, the single scanner may be in wireless communication with the system. Thereafter at a subsequent step the label printing mechanism generates a label that is associated with the prescription that has been filled into the particular product package. The system insures that the appropriate label is printed for the pharmaceutical product package. In order to prevent any inaccuracy, the system recalls the particular prescription information for printing of the label based on the unique relationship between the original product package code identifier or designator on the product package. The appropriate label is then automatically generated that accurately reflects the prescription contained within the product package.
 Those skilled in the art will recognize that the correlation or associative between the product package designator or identification code and the prescription may be stored by the system in the database, linked list, or other memory association which identifies this correlation.
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7900819||Nov 30, 2009||Mar 8, 2011||Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd||Product packaging authentication|
|US7905401||Jan 25, 2005||Mar 15, 2011||Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd||Pharmaceutical product tracking|
|US7946421||Apr 27, 2007||May 24, 2011||Walgreen Co.||Serially connected packets with end indicator|
|US7946487||Apr 30, 2009||May 24, 2011||Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd||Authentication of pharmaceutical products|
|US7962349||Feb 23, 2010||Jun 14, 2011||Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd||Method of dispensing a pharmaceutical product|
|US7980467||Mar 26, 2008||Jul 19, 2011||Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd||Authentication method for pharmaceutical products having symmetrically coded packaging|
|US8111431 *||Sep 28, 2007||Feb 7, 2012||Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd||Printer for printing packaging|
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|US8285561||May 17, 2011||Oct 9, 2012||Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd||Method of dispensing a product|
|US8286222||Mar 26, 2008||Oct 9, 2012||Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd||Authentication method for pharmaceutical products having coded packaging|
|US20050082376 *||Dec 2, 2004||Apr 21, 2005||Allen Lubow||Method and apparatus for applying bar code information to products during production|
|US20050121528 *||Dec 17, 2002||Jun 9, 2005||Allen Lubow||Double-sided bar code doubling as a single bar code|
|US20050131733 *||Apr 17, 2003||Jun 16, 2005||Allen Lubow||Sealable individual bar coded packets|
|US20050261935 *||Jan 25, 2005||Nov 24, 2005||Kia Silverbrook||Pharmaceutical product tracking|
|US20050261937 *||Jan 25, 2005||Nov 24, 2005||Kia Silverbrook||Pharmaceutical procuct packaging|
|DE102010042165A1 *||Oct 7, 2010||Apr 12, 2012||Krones Aktiengesellschaft||Verfahren zum Behandeln wenigstens eines Behälters in einer Behälterbehandlungsanlage|
|DE102011110620B3 *||Aug 16, 2011||Jan 17, 2013||DüRR DENTAL AG||Method for producing sterile foil pouches for storing patient-specific medicines, involves marking parameter of closure by reading of identification information, closing casing and sterilizing closed casing and articles|
|WO2010040415A1 *||Oct 10, 2008||Apr 15, 2010||Oi Europe Sàrl||Method for authenticating a product in a container, and associated method for verifying the authenticity of the product and its container|
|U.S. Classification||53/411, 53/131.4|
|International Classification||B65B61/02, B41J3/407|
|Cooperative Classification||B65B61/025, B41J3/4075|
|European Classification||B65B61/02B, B41J3/407L|
|Oct 29, 1998||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MURDOCH UNIVERSITY, AUSTRALIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MORGAN, UNA;THOMPSON, RICHARD CHRISTOPHER ANDREW;REEL/FRAME:009555/0371
Effective date: 19980220
|Mar 20, 2002||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS INC., FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ROSENBAUM, RON;REEL/FRAME:012705/0732
Effective date: 20020211
|Jul 19, 2002||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LASALLE BUSINESS CREDIT, INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:013081/0843
Effective date: 20020626
|Jul 22, 2002||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: EUREKA I, L.P., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:013110/0521
Effective date: 20020626
|Aug 17, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS, INC., FLORIDA
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:EUREKA I, L.P.;REEL/FRAME:014990/0633
Effective date: 20040802
|Jun 17, 2011||AS||Assignment|
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO LASALLE BUSINESSCREDIT, INC.;REEL/FRAME:026452/0437
Owner name: MTS MEDICATION TECHNOLOGIES, INC. (FORMERLY KNOWN
Effective date: 20110616