Scientists have thought of a way to make the forgetting to take medicines the thing of the past. They are on the way of creating an artificial tooth which would automatically release medicine.

The Intellidrug device was made small enough to fit inside two artificial molars in the jaw. The device is thought to be beneficial to patients with chronic ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure who often need to take doses at night.

The Intellidrug device could be set up to deliver exact dosages at the appropriate time even if the patient is sleeping. The dosage could be adjusted according to the patients’ needs, age, sex and weight. The drug is held in tablet form in a reservoir and the implant through a combination of clips and dental fixative. The reservoir can contain medicine for up to two weeks.

The process of delivering medicine starts when the saliva in the mouth enters the reservoir via a membrane and dissolves the solid drug. This way the saliva forms a solution. Electrical timing mechanism opens a valve and lets a controlled amount of the solution to flow into the mouth where it is absorbed into the body.

The cost of the device may be the problem and it will influence whether the device will become widely available or not. Currently, about 50% of people with chronic conditions do not take their medicines correctly and this costs the health service money.

If human trials prove successful, the device could be available in 2010.