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Publication numberUS3227127 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 4, 1966
Filing dateJul 15, 1964
Priority dateJul 15, 1964
Publication numberUS 3227127 A, US 3227127A, US-A-3227127, US3227127 A, US3227127A
InventorsRobert Gayle
Original AssigneeRobert Gayle
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pill dispenser with indicating means
US 3227127 A
Images(2)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 4, 1966 R. GAYLE Filed. July 15, 1964 VIII/III,

PILL DISPENSER WITH INDICATING MEANS 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR.

ROBERT GAYL.

ATTORNEY .AZM

Jan. 4, 1966 R. GAYLE 3,227,127

PILL DISPENSER WITH INDICATING MEANS Filed July 15, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 58 70 6| INVENTOR.

ROBERT 6A YLE 7| 22 BY 7 ATTORNEY United States Patent C) 3,227,127 PILL DISPENSER WITH INDICATING MEANS Robert Gayle, 3806 Heatherton Road, Roanoke, Va. Filed July 15, 1964, Ser. No. 384,041 8 Claims. (Cl. 116-421) This invention relates to a pill dispenser and in particular to a pill dispenser having a means for indicating the removal of each pill from the dispenser. This is a continuation-in-part of my copending application, Serial No. 221,713, filed on September 6, 1962.

In writing out prescriptions it is generally the practice of physicians to state that a pill should be taken at prescribed intervals. Such interval may be only a matter of hours,,or, on the other hand, may be on the basis of one per day, or perhaps one every day. In any event, it is essential that the patient be able to determine whether or not he has taken a pillfor that interval since it is quite possible that his memory will fail him. Various devices have been contrived in which the patient, upon taking a pill from the dispenser or container, will in a separate physical action record this fact. For those patients who are always able to remember to make a recording mark or other similar act, such a procedure is sufiicient. However, many a person has tended to forget entering on his own personal record the fact that he has taken a pill for aspecified day. Thus, he is confronted with the problem of trying to remember whether or not he actually took a pill for that interval.

The pill dispenser of this invention provides for an automatic recording or registering of the fact that the patient has taken a pill for the prescribedinterval. Briefly, the pill dispenser and indicator of this invention comprises a relatively small pocket-size dispenser containing a predetermined number of pills to be used over a prescribed period of time. For instance, the dispenser may contain twenty pills with a pill to be taken each successive day,

The dispenser has a separate compartment for each pill' and includes a disc base and disc cover. The pill-containing compartments are spaced about the perimeter of the disc base. The cover has an access opening for removing one pill at a time. Contained within the disc base and cover is an indicating dial having calibrated markings, a portion of which is visible through the cover of the dispenser. This dial is engaged with the base of the dispenser whereby rotation of the cover relative to the base, a step necessary to remove a pill, will advance the dial with respect to a reference means on the cover. Thus, whenever a pill is removed from the dispenser the indicating dial is automatically advanced, and, consequently, the patient need not rely on his own memory.

The dispenser is of a simplified design in order that it may be readily molded from an inexpensive plastic material. Inasmuch as the expense in producing this dispenser is relatively small, it may be used in place of a conventional bottle or package normally used in selling the pills through a pharmacy. The invention disclosed herein differs from other devices used to dispense pills in that a minimum of simplified parts are used, all of which may be easily molded by conventional molding techniques.

Thus, it is one object of this invention to provide for a new and improved pill dispenser.

Another object of this invention is to provide for a new and improved pill dispenser which has a simplified automatic indicator.

Another object of this invention is to provide for a new and improved pill dispenser and indicator comprised of relatively few and inexpensive parts, enabling it to be discarded upon being emptied.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will be "ice FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a plane top view of a third embodiment of this invention; and

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along lines. 7-7 of FIG. 6. 7

Referring to FIG. 1, combined pill dispenser and indicator 11 of this invention comprises a disc cover 13, a disc base 14 and an indicating dial 15 contained within the base and cover. As shown more clearly in FIG. 2, the cover 13 has an access opening 17 for removing one pill at a time. Although not necessarily required, a lid or covering 18 may be provided for opening. 17. The cover also has a reference means which in the particlar embodiment is in the form of an off-center aperture 20.

The base 14 of the dispenser has a plurality of pill compartments 22 about the perimeter of its inner face 23. These compartments are shown in cylindricalrform in the illustrated embodiment but may be of other configurations suitable for containing the particular medicament; Also fixed to the inner face 23 of the base is a ring of gear teeth 25 which-may be integrally molded withbase 14. Within this ring of gear teeth is a central hub 26 for fitting within a central sleeve 28 mounted on inner face 29 at the axis of the cover. Both sleeve 28 and hub 26 may be integrally molded with their respective members. The dimensions of the sleeve and hub are such that cover 13 and'base 14 are held together under normal use. On the other hand, it is essentialthat the base be rotatable with respect to the cover and therefore the outer diameter of hub 26, when assembled withthe sleeve 28, must be just slightly less than the inner diameter of the sleeve. To provide for a tight, but yet rotatable fitting, three cuts 30 have been made on the hub in order to permit it to slightly give within the sleeve.

The cover also has an annular flange 32 about its perimeter which encompasses the outer periphery of pill compartments 22. A registering projection 33 may be provided on inner surface 35 of this flange in order to positively engage with the pill compartment at prescribed positions. On the outer periphery of the pill'compartments grooves 37 are provided for receiving the projection on the cover flange. In such a manner the patient will be able to easily position access opening 17 on the cover directly over a pill-containing compartment 22. While not shown because of the portion being removed from the cover in FIG. 2, a diametrically opposed second projection may be included on the cover to further insure positive positioning of the access opening with respect to a pill compartment.

Molded on the inner face 23 of'the cover at a point between the perimeter of the cover and the reference means or aperture 20 and on the radial line intersecting the aperture is a short spindle 39 which is parallel to the axis of the dispenser. Indicating dial 15 is rotatably mounted about this spindle. The dial has an index 40 about its perimeter with the suitable interval terminology which in the particular case are the seven days-Sunday through Saturday. The diameter of dial 15 is such as to cause a segment of the indexing to be in registry with aperture 20 on the cover. Molded to the indicating dial are a prescribed number of gear teeth 42 arranged about the dials perimeter. The gear teeth are of such a dimension as to be engaged with gear teeth 25 on the base, as shown in FIG. 3.

In the event cover 13 is formed from a substantially transparent material aperture 15 may be eliminated. In such a modification a reference means of some type is desirable for the cover. This can be in the form of a small arrow or distinct line which is positioned for registry with only one of the markings on the dial 15.

In using the dispenser dial indicator 15 is first adjusted to record the proper day that the patient is to first take a pill. Thus, assuming that the first day is Friday, the cover is rotated with respect to the base thereby causing rotation of the dial. Once the marking for Friday appears through cover aperture the patient may raise lid 18 on the cover and remove a pill. For the following day the patient merely rotates the cover with respect to the base in a clockwise motion and removes another pill. It is apparent that should the patient later in the day forget whether or not he has taken a pill he need merely lift the flap, and after checking to see that the proper day is in registry with the aperture, the absence or presence of a pill will inform him as to whether or not he has taken one. Automatic advancement of the dial is achieved through its gear engagement with gear teeth on the base.

It is apparent that if the dispenser is to contain a fair number of pills the prescribed intervals will cycle several times, with each marking or indexed portion repeating its registry with window 20. Rather than duplicating each marking on the dial, the indicating means of this invention utilized each marking several times to provide a more compact dispenser. This is achieved through a differential gear arrangement which causes the dial to be advanced a predetermined extent depending upon the type of prescription interval.

In the illustrated embodiment the dispenser is designed for containing twenty pills. Consequently, the ring of gear teeth 25 on the base likewise contains twenty gear teeth. Assuming that the prescription for the pills is one per day, then the dial contains seven gear teeth 42 which represent the seven days of the week. Inasmuch as the prescription will cover a period of nearly three weeks, it is essential that the indexing means containing the seven days revolve nearly three complete revolutions. By providing for the gear ratio of 7 to 20 the dial will make the proper number of revolutions upon one complete revolution of the cover with respect to its base. As the cover is rotated with respect to the base 14 spindle 39 scribes a circuit about which dial 15 travels. This motion also causes the dial to rotate since it is driven by the base through engagement of their respective gear teeth 42 and 25. Thus, dial 15 rotates 2% times upon one complete rotation of the cover relative to the base. In such a manner it is not necessary to provide for twenty markings on the dial since each marking will appear under the aperture several times.

It will be apparent that there are a number of arrangements for positioning the dial in the dispenser whereby a visible segment of the dial is in registry with a reference means on the cover. FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate an embodiment of this invention which eliminates the need for a transparent portion or window in the cover 11. Dial 51 differs from dial 115 of the dispenser illustrated in FIGS. l-3 primarily by a flange 53 which substantially overlaps the seven gear teeth 42. The dial is rotatably connected to cover 11 by spindle 39 and is coupled to the base 14 for motion transmitting engagement through its gear teeth 42 and gear teeth 55 on the inner perimeter of the base. The dial could also be coupled to the base in a manner similar to that shown in FIGS. 13.

An opening 56 is provided in flange 32 of cover 11 to permit passage of a portion of dial 51. It is apparent that in this arrangement the reference means is merely arc 57 of the perimeter of the cover taken in combination with the one visible indexed portion of the dial extending beyond the covers perimeter. For added emphasis an arrow or other marking may be placed on the cover to supplement the arc reference means.

In order for dial 51 to freely rotate above pill compartments 22, cover 11 is spaced from base 14 to a greater extent than in the dispenser shown in FIG. 3. Consequently, the pills in pill compartment 22 may have a tendency to rattle against cover 11. This may be avoided by molding one or more pill retaining rings 58 on the inner surface of the cover to hold the pills in their compartments. Rings 58 may terminate on opposite sides of dial 51.

The embodiment in FIGS. 6 and 7 places the dial in closer proximity with the pill access opening 17 for easier reading. Dial 61 has seven bores or apertures 62 which are identical to the pill compartments 22. While a portion of dial 61 is positioned directly over the access opening 17 the pills are not blocked since they may pass through aperture 62. The visible indexed portion is thus in registry with the access opening which also serves as the reference means for the dial. In other aspects the dispenser is similar to the one shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. FIG. 7 also illustrates how cover 11 may be directly coupled to base 14 without the use of a retaining pin. Hub 70 on cover 11 has a lip 71 extending about a portion of its circumference. Since the dispenser is formed from a plastic which permit-s temporary deflection lip 71 can be forced through an opening in the base for rotary engagement.

It is apparent that other types of gear ratios are adaptable without departing from the spirit of this invention. Thus, While only three embodiments have been illustrated other embodiments and modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of this invention and the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A pill dispenser and indicator comprising a disc cover having an off-center aperture and an inwardly extending spindle, said spindle being parallel to the axis of said cover and positioned at a point between the perimeter of said cover and said aperture on the radial line intersecting said aperture, a disc base having a plurality of pill compartments about its perimeter, said base being rotatably engaged with said cover on a common axis whereby said compartments are capped by said cover, a plurality of inner gear teeth concentrically fixed to said base, and a dial rotatably mounted about said spindle within said cover and base, said dial having an indexed portion with a segment visible through said aperture, said base being in differential engagement with the perimeter of said dial whereby said dial is rotated upon relative movement between said cover and base to advance a succeeding indexed segment in registry with said cover aperture.

2. A pill dispenser and indicator comprising a disc cover having an off-center aperture and an inwardly extending spindle, said spindle being parallel to the axis of said cover and positioned at a point between the perimeter of said cover and said aperture on the radial line intersecting said aperture, a disc base having a plurality of pill compartments about its perimeter, said base having a central hub rotatably engaged with a central sleeve on said cover whereby said compartments are capped by said cover, a plurality of inner gear teeth fixed to said base encircling, said hub and sleeve, and a dial rotatably mounted about said spindle within said cover and base, said dial having an indexed portion with a segment visible through said'. aperture, said dial further having a plurality of gear teethengaged with said base gear teeth whereby said dial is rotated upon relative movement between said cover and. base to advance a succeeding indexed segment in registry with said cover aperture.

3. A pill dispenser and indicator comprising a disc cover having an off-center aperture and an inwardly extending spindle, said spindle being parallel to the axis of said disc cover and positioned at a point between the perimeter of said cover and said aperture on the radial line intersecting said aperture, a disc base having a plurality of pill compartments about its perimeter, said base having a central hub rotatably engaged with a central sleeve on said cover, whereby said compartments are capped by said cover, a plurality of inner gear teeth fixed to said base encircling said hub and sleeve, and a dial rotatably mounted about said spindle having an indexed portion with a segment visible through said aperture, the perimeter of said dial having a plurality of gear teeth in differential engagement with said base gear teeth whereby said dial is rotated a plurality of times upon one relative rotation between said cover and base to advance succeeding indexed segments in registry with said cover aperture.

4. A pill dispenser and indicator comprising a disc base with individual compartments adapted for containing a plurality of pills, a disc cover rotatably and concentrically engaged with said base and covering said pills, said cover having a reference means and an access opening for removing a pill, a dial rotatably mounted at a fixed point on the inner surface of said cover and parallel thereto, said dial being indexed about its perimeter with a visible segment being in registry with said reference means on said cover, motion transmitting engagement means cooperating between said dial and base comprising a concentric ring on said dial and a concentric ring on said base, said rings being in tangent driving contact with each other whereby rotation of said cover relative to said base transmits motion to said dial to advance said dial with respect to said reference means.

5. A pill dispenser and indicator comprising a disc base having a concentric ring of pill compartments, a disc cover rotatably and concentrically engaged with said base and covering said compartments, said cover having a reference means and an access opening for removing one pill at a time, a dial rotatably mounted at a fixed point on the inner surface of said cover cit-center and parallel therewith, said dial being indexed about its perimeter with a visible segment being in registry with said reference means on said cover, torque transmitting engagement means cooperating between said dial and base com- .prising a concentric ring on said dial and a concentric ring on said base, said rings being in tangent driving contact with each other whereby rotation of said cover relative to said base transmits a torque on said dial to advance said dial with respect to said reference means.

6. A pill dispenser and indicator comprising a disc base having a concentric ring of pill compartments, a disc cover rotatably and concentrically engaged with said base and covering said compartments, said cover having an access opening for removing a pill, a dial rotatably mounted on an off-center fixed point on the inner surface of said cover and parallel thereto, said dial being indexed about its perimeter, means on said cover for viewing a segment of said indexed dial, torque transmitting engagement means cooperating between said dial and base comprising a concentric ring on said dial and a concentric ring on said base, said rings being in tangent driving contact with each other whereby rotation of said cover relative to said base transmits a torque on said dial to advance said dial.

7. A pill dispenser and indicator comprising a disc base having a plurality of pill compartments arranged about its perimeter on its inner face, a disc cover rotatably and concentrically engaged with said base and covering said compartments, said cover having a window and an access opening for removing a pill, a dial rotatably mounted on an off-center fixed point on the inner surface of said cover and parallel thereto, said dial being indexed about its perimeter with a segment being in registry with said window, torque transmitting engagement means cooperating between said dial and base comprising a concentric ring on said dial and a concentric ring on said base, said rings being in tangent driving contact with each other whereby rotation of said cover relative to said base trans mits a torque on said dial, advancing said dial to simultaneously place a different segment of said index in registry with said window.

8. A pill dispenser and indicator comprising a disc base having a plurality of pill compartments arranged about its perimeter on its inner face, a disc cover rotatably and concentrically engaged with said base and covering said compartments, said cover having an access opening for removing a pill, a dial rotatably mounted parallel to said cover and on an axis fixed at a radially spaced point on the inner surface of said cover, said dial being indexed about its perimeter, means on said cover for viewing a segment of said indexed dial, torque transmitting differential engagement means cooperating between said dial and base comprising a concentric ring on said dial and a concentric ring on said base, said rings being in tangent driving contact with each other whereby rotation of said cover relative to said base transmits a torque on said dial causing rotation thereof and placement of a different indexed segment visible through said cover.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,943,730 7/1960 Tregilgas 11612l LOUIS J. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,227,127 January 4, 1966 Robert Gayle It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below In the grant, lines 1 to 3, for "Robert Gayle, of Roanoke, Virginia," read Robert Gayle, of Roanoke, Virginia, assignor to Creative Packaging, Incorporated, of Indianapolis, Indiana, a corporation of Indiana, line 12, for "Robert Gayle, his heirs" read Creative Packaging, Incorporated, its successors in the heading to the printed specification, line 3, for "Robert Gayle, 3806 Heatherton Road, Roanoke, Va." read Robert Gayle, Roanoke, Va., assignor to Creative Packaging, Incorporated, Indianapolis, Ind. a corporation of Indiana column 1, line 16, after "every" insert other column 3, line 50, for "circuit" read circle (SEAL) Signed and sealed this 13th day of December 1966 Attest:

ERNEST W. SWIDER EDWARD J. BRENNER Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification116/308, 206/539, 215/230, 206/533, 206/534, 221/2, D09/450
International ClassificationB65D83/04, A61J7/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/0454, B65D2583/0409, A61J7/04
European ClassificationB65D83/04C1, A61J7/04