1. Raucous Indignation says

    Thanks! I’ve been meaning to disassemble one of those. That’s cool. I expected that they’d be pretty simple.

    Those batteries are still good. I can’t make out what kind they are, but they might fit in your cars’ key fob.

  2. kestrel says

    Oooh looky -- lots of neat stuff in there. Thanks for letting us have a glimpse! So interesting…

    I wonder if they are assembled in one place, and filled with the drug in another? I am sure the drugs are kept under lock and key.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    Raucous Indignation @ 1

    I think the batteries are Energizer A76 1.5 V alkaline batteries.

  4. says

    Kestrel, the drug is packaged with the on bod. When the package is opened, there’s a loaded syringe, which is then injected into a corner port of the device, where it feeds into the little tank. The medication itself has a a human half-life of 15 to 80 hours.

    When you go to have your peel ‘n’ stick, the nurse does the injection into the device, then sticks it to you, that’s it.

  5. jazzlet says

    Well that’s interesting and three barely used batteries are a win whatever else you end up using.

    It’s interesting to see the plastic needle too. I asked about the needle when I had an epidural put in prior to my hysterectomy, as I was worried about lying down on to what I thought was a rigid needle. They said it was plastic and would just flex so I didn’t worry. Mind I do have a large bum so unless I’m lying on something very very soft the small of my back (where the epidural was placed) never touches a bed anyway.

  6. Raucous Indignation says

    Jazzlet, I bet there is a stainless steel needle inside the plastic catheter. Probably has an auto-retract feature to make the device “safe” when removing. All “safety” warranties voided by willful disassembly.

  7. says

    Oh yes, there’s a metal needle! You can’t mistake that fucker when it snaps in. The plastic is just needle safety stuff.

  8. Raucous Indignation says

    Yes, the needle is in the center of the plastic cannula. The needle pops out and carries the cannula under the skin. Then the needle retracts and leaves the plastic catheter in a subcutaneous position. Quite similar to threading an IV catheter but subcutaneous instead.

  9. Raucous Indignation says

    I was on call the last 5 days. I’m just getting caught up on things here at FTB. Has Marcus blown himself up yet?

  10. chigau (違う) says

    This is mind-bogglingly complex.
    How many labs, factories, companies, in how many countries were involved?
    Praise, then, thechnology ongoing.

  11. jazzlet says

    Thank you RI and Caine, I figured later there must be a metal needle to get the plastic through the skin and into the spinal cord, at the time I was in the slightly dissociated state pre-meds give you and was just happy I wasn’t in danger of wiggling a piece of metal around in my spinal cord!

  12. Raucous Indignation says

    SPINAL CORD ?!?!?!! NOOOO !!!!

    NO!!! Back of the arm triceps fold or belly, not the spinal card. No! Bad! Bad Jazzlet!

  13. jimb says

    Interesting…..from an electronics point of view, not much there. Mainly just what looks like a simple micro-controller, with it’s associated parts (oscillator, capacitors, resistors). More on the mechanical side, which makes sense.

    Thanks to you & Rick for the disassembly and pics.

  14. says

    Looks like it probably costs less than $100 to make in quantity. I’ve dissected toys from Toys R Us that cost less and had about the same amount of components.

    While the medical equipment suppliers are clearly gouging, they are given a green light to do so because the medical equipment market is highly controlled and it’s got lots of regulatory hoops to get a new device through. Of course those regulatory hoops are intended to increase safety and reliability -- in theory -- but in practice they serve as a barrier to entry that makes it effectively impossible for a less expensive competitor to enter the market.

  15. says

    Yeah, in this case, it’s the pegfilgrastim which costs, not the delivery system. Basically, they have a lock right now, there’s no competition; the FDA rejected a biosimilar in ‘016. There are more trials going on right now, but it looks like they’ll keep the lock for a good long while yet. Without competition, there’s no reason to discount anything. Pharmaceuticals is one hell of a racket.

  16. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There are a few biosimilars undergoing regulatory review.
    From what I was able to glean from the readings, this is a complicated process, with genetic engineering used to manufacture the GCSF by fermentation, and isolation of the protein while retaining activity can be tricky. Then the PEG groups are added by normal chemical means, and you have have to maintain activity. You end up with a huge mixture that is hard to analyze.
    The regulatory world has tightened requirements since pegfilgrastim was first approved.

  17. Raucous Indignation says

    Oh, Jazzlet, oh. Oh. Hrrm. Oh, okay. Sorry. Okay, I see what I did there… [shuffles off, head hung down in shame]

  18. Judith Howes says

    Just wanted to comment to one thing I saw above. People are not “benefiting from misfortune.” I take offense to that. I can tell you as an Oncology nurse of of 37 years, this is a lifesaving medication and delivery system. Hats off to whomever invented it. It is a wonderful gadget. God bless the inventors and the many patients who volunteered to take part in the clinical trials that led up to the development of this delivery system. Amen!

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