Drug storage and dispensing apparatus
Patent No. 6,513,679
Issued: February 4, 2003
Inventors: Shlomo & Zipora Greenwald
A device to automatically dispense solid medicinal units, such as pills, capsules, or the like, based upon patient needs. The medicinal units are stored in long, thin tubes. Each tube stores, in single-line, vertical fashion, a series of units of the same drug. The medicinal units, thusly stored, are efficiently dispensed from the bottom portion of the tube through a novel valve. In some embodiments, the valve is a permanent part of the tube; in others, the valve separates and re-connects to the tube to facilitate refilling of empty tubes at a drug refilling center. In still another embodiment, the valve comprises a thin wall molted elastic rubber tube sleeve mounted on the lower part of the plastic tube containing the medicinal units. In such embodiment, small holes or slits in the lower portion of the plastic tube accommodate the portions of the elastic tube sleeve that act as shutter and catcher doors controlling the dispensing of the medicinal units; the outer tube sleeve is manipulated by a valve control mechanism during drug extraction.
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