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Publication numberUS3572282 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 23, 1971
Filing dateApr 4, 1969
Priority dateApr 4, 1969
Publication numberUS 3572282 A, US 3572282A, US-A-3572282, US3572282 A, US3572282A
InventorsHuck Charles M, Tump Dirk
Original AssigneeOrtho Pharma Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tablet dispenser with circular tablet channel
US 3572282 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 23, 1971 TUMP ET AL 3,572,282

I TABLET DISPENSER WITH CIRCULAR TABLET CHANNEL Filed April 4, 1969 Y 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 'IIIIIEWEFIIIIII 5! 7 I--IIIIIMVIJYIZ- r.\\\\\\\\\\\\\'.\\\\\\\\\ 2 /7 /9 1X7 INVENTOR & D/AA/ 7Z/MP T l q T1 q 9444 12.;

March 23, 1971 T ETAL TABLET DISPENSER WITH CIRCULAR TABLET CHANNEL Filed April 4, 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS. fl/xQA 72/44 (#42455 M BY W G. 7

ATTORNEY March 23, 1971 T EI'AL TABLET DISPENSER WITH CIRCULAR TABLET CHANNEL Filed April 4, 1969 ATTORNEY United States Patent C) 3,572,282 TABLET DISPENSER WITH CIRCULAR TABLET CHANNEL Dirk Tump, Lebanon, and Charles M. Huck, Bound Brook, N.J., assignors to Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation Filed Apr. 4, 1969, Ser. No. 813,576 Int. Cl. G09f 9/00 US. Cl. 116-121 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A calendared tablet dispenser is provided in which the tablets are contained in a continuous circular tablet channel. By virtue of a downward extending projection secured to the cover, rotation of the cover with respect to the base in the counter-clockwise direction causes the tablets to move in that direction in the tablet channel. Means are provided to prevent movement of the tablets in the channel in the counter-clockwise direction. In use, the cover is rotated with respect to the base in the counter clockwise direction to align the indicia of time representing the day on which the first tablet is to be taken with the tablet access aperture. In dispensing of the tablet, the cover is rotated in the clockwise direction.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It has become the general practice in the treatment of patients to prescribe that medication be taken in accordance with a fairly rigid time schedule. This is particularly true in the case of oral contraceptives where the user must adhere to a schedule of use which is determined by the users individual menstrual cycle. Failure to adhere to the prescribed schedule of use will generally result in the failure of the medication to induce the physiological effect on which contraception is based.

In order to assist users of oral contraceptives in following the prescribed regimen, oral contraceptive tablets are generally packaged in dispensers which permit the user to determine immediately upon any given day of the week whether a tablet was, in fact, taken on that day. This is most often accomplished by associating an empty or occupied tablet position with an indicia representing the particular day of the Week involved. Most often such dispensers are provided in the form of a disk with the tablets located at individually spaced positions around the pe riphery of the same. Typical tablet dispensers of this type are those described in US. Pats. 3,143,207 and 3,227,127.

In the tablet dispensers described in each of those patents, a tablet retaining cover is provided, the cover having a tablet access area. The cover may be rotated to register the tablet access area, in turn, with each tablet location. Indicia representing moments in time at which tablets are to be taken are associated or associatable with each tablet.

At the beginning of the regimen the user is instructed that the first tablet to be taken is to be both aligned with the tablet access area and associated with the indicia of time representing the moment in time at which that tablet is to be taken. From this point on, as the cover is rotated to register the tablet access area with the next tablet to be taken, the indicia of time representing the moment in time at which the next tablet is to be taken is automatically associated with that tablet.

In the dispenser described in US. Pat. 3,143,207; each tablet is initially registered with a separate indicia of time. Thus, by rotating the cover, the user simply exposes the next tablet to be taken as well as the indicia which has all along been associated with that tablet. Since each user has a different physiological cycle, it is necessary to disassemble this dispenser and rotate the calendar disk with respect to the tablet disk so that the proper indicia are registered with the proper tablet as far as that particular patient is concerned. It is undesirable to disassemble such a dispenser since the tablets may be lost or damaged.

This problem is alleviated somewhat by the dispenser described in U.S. Pat. 3,227,127. In that dispenser a calendar element is provided which, instead of having a separate indicia for each tablet in the dispenser, simply has an indicia representing each moment in time at which medication is to be taken. The calendar element is rotatably mounted on and under the cover adjacent the tablet access area. The calendar element is geared into the base in such a manner that the rotation of the cover with respect to the base causes the calendar element to rotate and causes each indicia in turn to align itself with the tablet access area. Thus, in setting this dispenser initially so that the proper indicia of time is associated with the first tablet to be taken, it is only necessary to rotate the cover until such association is effected.

However, this dispenser is also not entirely satisfactory. There is no difficulty when utilizing the same with a combination contraceptive regimen, a regimen in which the same dose is to be taken on each day. Thus, any tablet may act as the first tablet. In initially setting the dispenser, it is necessary at most to rotate the cover forward six positions until the date on which the particular patient is to take the first tablet is, in fact, associated with the tablet access area. In a sequential contraceptive regimen, however, different doses must be taken on different days during the patients cycle. Thus, rather than simply associating the indicia representing the first day on which a tablet is to be taken with the tablet access area, it is simultaneously necessary to associate the tablet access area with the particular tablet which must be taken on that first day. This alignment is still possible when the number of tablets do not represent an even multiple of the number of indicia on the calendar element. If, for example, a twenty-tablet regimen is provided and a tablet is to be taken on each of the seven days of the weeks, each time the cover is rotated 360, a different indicia of time will be registered with a given tablet. Thus, in the case of a sequential regimen, in order to align the proper indicia with the first tablet to be taken, it may be necessary to rotate the cover as much as six full turns. A more serious problem is encountered where the regimen contains 21 tablets, since no matter how many times the cover is rotated, the same indicia will always be registered with a given tablet. In such a case it is necessary to provide 22 tablet locations, leaving one tablet location empty. But, even then as many as six complete turns may be necessary to initially set the dispenser.

The problems encountered with the above-described tablet dispensers have now been solved by the dispenser of this invention by providing a dispenser in which the tablets are contained in a continuous circular channel rather than in independent tablet locations. An arm projects downward from the cover of the dispenser into the tablet channel. Thus, the tablets themselves may be rotated in a given direction in the channel by simply rotating the dispenser cover in that direction with respect to the base. This arm projects into the tablet channel adjacent the first tablet of the regimen and is attached to the cover adjacent the tablet access area so that the tablet access area overlies the first tablet to be taken. A calendar element containing, in chronological order, indicia of time at which tablets are to be taken is also, of course, provided in conjunction with a time reference indicator. Rotation of the cover with respect to the base results in the various indicia becoming associated with the time reference indicator. This calendaring may be accomplished in a number of ways well-known in the art, none of which represent a portion of this invention.

In using this dispenser, the patient is instructed to rotate the cover with respect to the base in the counter-clockwise direction until the indicia of time representing the day on which the first tablet is to be taken is registered with the time reference indicator. Once the tablet dispenser is thus initially set, dispensing of the tablets is initiated by opening the tablet access area and dispensing the tablet underlying the same. Dispensing of the remaining tablets is effected by rotating the cover with respect to the base in the clockwise direction.

Means are provided so that movement of the tablets in the channel in the clockwise direction is prevented. Once dispensing is initiated, movement of the tablets in the channel in the counter-clockwise direction is prevented by the arm projecting from the cover into the tablet channel, this arm being immediately adjacent the tablet access area and projecting into the tablet channel just behind the next tablet to be dispensed. This same arm prevents rotation of the dispenser cover with respect to the base in the clockwise direction at any given moment until the tablet underlying the tablet access area at that moment is dispensed.

Referring now specifically to the drawings;

FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a tablet dispenser of this invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view in perspective of the tablet dispenser of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-section of the dispenser of FIG. 1 taken along line 33 of FIG. 1 and also illustrates the method of initiating dispensing of the tablets;

FIG. 4 is a view in perspective of the dispenser of FIG. 1 wherein the tablet access area has been opened;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-section of the portion of the dispenser of FIG. 1 adjacent the tablet access area just before the first tablet is dispensed;

FIG. 6 is a cross-section of the dispenser of FIG. 1 corresponding to that of FIG. 5 and illustrates the dispensing of the first tablet of the regimen;

FIG. 7 is a cross-section of the area of the dispenser of FIG. 1 adjacent the tablet access area just before the second tablet is dispensed;

FIG. 8 is a cross-section of the area of the dispenser of FIG. 1 adjacent the tablet access area just before dispensing the last tablet of the regimen;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged view partially broken away of the tablet channel of the dispenser of FIG. 1, additionally illustrating means for retaining the tablets in a specified position in the channel;

FIG. 10 is a completely broken away view corresponding to the view of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is an exploded view corresponding to the view of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a graphic representation of the dispensing of a tablet from the dispenser;

FIG. 13 is a view in perspective of a second tablet dispenser of this invention;

FIG. 14 is an exploded view in perspective of the dispenser of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a partially broken away plan view of the dispenser of FIG. 13;

FIG. 16 is a cross-section of the dispenser of FIG. 13 taken along lines 16-16 of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is an enlarged cross-section of the area of the dispenser of FIG. 13 adjacent the tablet access area illustrating the initial setting of the dispenser;

FIG. 18 is a cross-section corresponding to that of FIG. 17 showing further the initial setting of the dispenser.

Referring specifically now to FIGS. 1-12 of the drawings, the molded plastic tablet dispenser 1, illustrated consists of a base 2 and a cover 3. The cover 3 is rotatably mounted on the base 2, by virtue of spindle 4 and socket 5.

The base 2 contains a circular channel 6, having a slot 8, in the bottom of the same. The sides of slot 8 define a series of ratchets 7, the ratchets having a length equal approximately to the diameter of a tablet. A calendar disk 9 is provided in the center of the dispenser. A series of chronologically arranged indicia 10 are located circumferentially of the calendar disk 9, the indicia representing the points in time at which tablets are to be taken. One such indicia 10 is registered with the center of each ratchet 7, in the slot 8, in the bottom of the tablet channel 6. A forked spring 11 is disposed in the slot 8, with the leaves 19, of the spring 11, engaging the ratchets 7. A tablet pusher 12 is attached to the top of the forked spring 11, and extends above the top of the slot 8, into the tablet channel 6. The tablet pusher 12 is mounted on the spring 11, so that its leading edge 20 is positioned at the end of ratchet '7. As illustrated, the leading edge 21 tablet pusher is preferably concave in shape so as to conform to the shape of the tablets. The tablet channel 6 is filled with tablets 13, arranged so that one tablet is registered with each indicia on the calendar disk 9, and so that the leading edge 1 of the tablet pusher 12 engages the surface of a tablet.

The cover 3 of the dispenser has a tablet access area 14, initially covered by breakable tab 15. The cover also has a time reference window 16 located radially from the point of rotation of the cover, a distance equal to the radial distance of each indicia 10, from the point of rotation. The cover 13 also has an integrally molded arm 17, which projects down into the tablet channel 6, and initially is in contact with the trailing edge 20, of the tablet pusher 12, and lies between the pusher and the first tablet (I) to be taken.

In utilizing the dispenser illustrated, the patient will rotate the cover counter-clockwise with respect to base until the time reference window 16 registers with the indicia 10, representing the day on which the first tablet (I) is to be taken. By virtue of the interaction of arm 17 and tablet pusher 12, the rotation of the cover in the counter-clockwise direction with respect to the base will cause the series of tablets 13 to slide within the tablet channel. The position of the first tablet (I) with respect to the tablet access area 14 will not be changed. Once the dispenser is thus initiallly set, the patient breaks tab 15 from the cover as shown in FIG. 3 to provide the dispenser as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. As shown in FIGS. 6 and 12, the first tablet may then be dispensed by inverting the dispenser.

Further dispensing of the tablets is effected by turning the cover of the dispenser in the clockwise direction with respect to the base. As shown clearly in FIG. 7, the tablet pusher 12, held in place by spring 11 and ratchets 7, prevents the tablets from moving in the channel in the clockwise direction. As each pill in turn is removed, the projection 17 is freed and the cover may be rotated one more position in the clockwise direction with respect to the base. Usually the patient will be instructed notto advance the cover until the time has come to take the next tablet. Detent 18, in the cover, exerts a moderate downward pressure on that next tablet so that in the meantime the tablets will not move in the channel in the counter-clockwise direction.

Referring now to FIGS. 13-18, a second embodiment of the dispenser of this invention is illustrated. In this embodiment l-a, the bottom of the tablet channel (i-a contains a series of ratchets 30. The length of each such ratchet 30 is equal approximately to the diameter of a tablet. One such ratchet is aligned with each indicia 10-12, on the calendar disk 9-a. These ratchets 30 provide one of the functions of the forked spring 11 and tablet pusher 12, in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 112, i.e., by virtue of these ratchets it is impossible for the tablets to move in the channel in the clockwise direction. By virtue of arm 17-a, the tablets can be moved in the channel in the counter-clockwise direction by rotating the cover with respect to the base. The ratchets also serve the same function as detents 18, in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-12, i.e., retarding accidental movement of the tablets in the channel in the counter-clockwise direction after the tablet underlying the tablet access area has been dispensed.

What is claimed is:

1. In a tablet dispenser of the type comprising,

a base and a cover rotatably mounted on the base, the base having a series of tablet positions arranged circumferentially of the same, the cover having a tablet access area located radially from its axis of rotation the same distance as the tablet locations of said base, rotation of said cover with respect to said base registering the tablet access area in turn with each tablet position;

and also comprising a calendar element containing indicia of time arranged in chronological order, at least one indicia of time representing each moment in time at which a tablet is to be taken, said cover having a time reference indicator which, upon rotation of the cover with respect to the base to register the tablet access area with the next tablet to be taken, is automatically registered in turn with the next succeeding indicia of time at which a tablet is to be taken;

the improvement comprising:

said base having a continuous circular tablet channel incorporating said series of tablet positions, said cover having a downwardly directed projection immediately adjacent said tablet access area which projects into said tablet channel, whereby rotation of the cover With respect to the base in a given direction a distance greater than the diameter of a tablet will result in the tablets being rotated in the tablet channel in that same direction a distance greater than the diameter of a tablet, means being provided in said channel to prevent rotation of the tablets in the opposite direction; said projection also preventing rotation of the cover in said opposite direction with respect to the base until the tablet immediately underlying the tablet access area of said cover is dispensed and the cover being rotatable in the opposite direction with respect to the base when said tablet immediately underlying the tablet access area has been dispensed.

2. The tablet dispenser of claim 1 in which the bottom of said tablet channel contains a series of ratchets, each such ratchet constituting a tablet position, said ratchets permitting rotational movement of the tablets in one direction but preventing rotational movement of the tablets in the opposite direction.

3. The tablet dispenser of claim 1 in which the tablet channel contains a slot in the bottom thereof, said slot containing a series of ratchets therein;

a tablet pusher being slidably disposed in said slot to engage said ratchets, said tablet pusher projecting above and into said tablet channel;

said tablet pusher and said ratchets cooperating to permit rotational movement of the tablets in one direction but to prevent rotational movement of the tablets in the opposite direction.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,103,520 12/ 1937 Donnelly 20642UX 2,943,730 7/1960 Tregilgas 116-121 3,143,207 8/1964 Wagner 20642 3,227,127 1/1966 Gayle 116--121 FOREIGN PATENTS 712,676 7/ 1931 France 20642 LOUIS J. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 20642

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Classifications
U.S. Classification116/308, 206/533
International ClassificationA61J7/04, B65D83/04
Cooperative ClassificationA61J7/04, B65D83/0409, B65D2583/0472, B65D2583/0409, B65D2583/0459
European ClassificationA61J7/04, B65D83/04A