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Claims for Patent: 5,590,645

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Claims for Patent: 5,590,645

Title: Inhalation device
Abstract:An inhalation device is described for use with a medicament pack in which at least one container for medicament in powder form is defined between two sheets peelably secured to one another. The device comprises means for peeling the sheets apart at an opening station to open the container; and an outlet, communicating with the opened container, through which a user can inhale medicament in powder form from the opened container.
Inventor(s): Davies; Michael B. (Ware, GB2), Hearne; David J. (Luton, GB2), Rand; Paul K. (Letchworth, GB2), Walker; Richard I. (Ware, GB2)
Assignee: Glaxo Group Limited (London, GB2)
Application Number:08/552,166
Patent Claims: 1. An inhalation device for use with a medicament pack having a plurality of containers for containing medicament in powder form wherein the containers are spaced along the length of and defined between two peelable sheets secured to each other, said inhalation device comprising:

an opening station for receiving a container of a medicament pack being used with said inhalation device;

means positioned to engage peelable sheets of a container which has been received in said opening station for peeling apart the peelable sheets, to open such a container;

an outlet, positioned to be in communication with an opened container, through which a user can inhale medicament in powder form from such an opened container; and

indexing means for indexing in communication with said outlet containers of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device.

2. A device according to claim 1, adapted for use where one of such peelable sheets is a base sheet having a plurality of pockets therein, and an other of such peelable sheets is a lid sheet, each pocket and an adjacent part of such a lid sheet defining a respective one of such containers, said means positioned to engage comprising driving means for pulling such a lid sheet and a base sheet apart at the opening station.

3. A device according to claim 2, comprising indexing means engageable between adjacent pockets to cause each pocket in turn to be positioned in communication with the outlet.

4. A device according to claim 2, comprising at least one chamber for receiving medicament pack before opening, and for receiving the base sheet and lid sheet after peeling apart.

5. A device according to claim 4, further comprising resilient coil-formers for holding in coiled form at least one of: (i) a medicament pack being used with said inhalation device and; (ii) a base sheet of a container which has been received in said opening station.

6. A device according to claim 2, wherein the said driving means comprises lid driving means for pulling such a lid sheet.

7. A device according to claim 6, wherein the lid driving means comprises a pair of driving wheels which drivingly engage such a lid sheet between them.

8. A device according to claim 7, wherein the said driving wheels are toothed wheels having interengaging teeth.

9. A device according to claim 6, comprising a rotatable index wheel having recesses therein, the wheel being engageable with such a medicament pack so that the recesses each receive a respective pocket.

10. A device according to claim 9, wherein the index wheel and the lid driving means are interconnected so that the rotation of one correlates with the rotation of the other.

11. A device according to claim 1, further comprising means for operating in a plurality of steps, which comprises indicator means adapted to display to a user an instruction as to the next step once the preceding step has been taken.

12. A device according to claim 11, wherein the indicator means comprises an indicator member which carries a plurality of legends each constituting an instruction to the user, the indicator member being movable by a given step being carried out to display the legend relating to the next step.

13. An inhalation device for opening a medicament pack having a plurality of containers for containing medicament in powder form wherein the containers are defined between an elongate base sheet and an elongate lid sheet peelably secured to each other with the base sheet having a plurality of pockets therein, said inhalation device comprising:

an opening station for receiving a container of a medicament pack being used with said inhalation device;

peeling means positioned to engage a base sheet and a lid sheet of a container which has been received in said opening station for peeling apart such a base sheet and lid sheet, to open such a container, said peeling means including lid driving means for pulling apart a lid sheet and a base sheet of a container that has been received at said opening station;

an outlet, positioned to be in communication with an opened container, through which a user can inhale medicament in powder form from such an opened container; and

indexing means for indexing in communication with said outlet containers of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device, said indexing means including

a rotatable index wheel having recesses therein, said index wheel being engageable with a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device such that said recesses each receive a respective pocket of a base sheet of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device, said index wheel and lid driving means being interconnected by a slipping clutch so that the rotation of one correlates with the rotation of the other.

14. A device according to claim 13, wherein the slipping clutch comprises a first gear member which is movable with the index wheel and has a toothed surface, and a second toothed gear member which is movable with the lid driving means and has a toothed surface in meshing engagement with the toothed surface of the said first gear member, at least one of the toothed surfaces having a toothed portion which is movable back and forth with respect to the remainder of the toothed surface of which it is part.

15. A device according to claim 13, wherein the slipping clutch comprises first clutch means movable with the index wheel and second clutch means movable with the lid driving means, one of the clutch means comprising an annular array of serrations and the other of the clutch means comprising means which grippingly engage the serrations when less than a predetermined force is applied between the two clutch means and which slip with respect to the serrations when a force equal to or greater than the predetermined force is applied.

16. An inhalation device for opening a medicament pack having a plurality of containers for containing medicament in powder form wherein the containers are defined between an elongate base sheet and an elongate lid sheet peelably secured to each other with the base sheet having a plurality of pockets therein, said inhalation device comprising:

an opening station for receiving a container of a medicament pack being used with said inhalation device;

peeling means positioned to engage a base sheet and a lid sheet of a container which has been received in said opening station for peeling apart such a base sheet and lid sheet, to open such a container, said peeling means including lid driving means for pulling apart a lid sheet and a base sheet of a container that has been received at said opening station;

an outlet, positioned to be in communication with an opened container, through which a user can inhale medicament in powder form from such an opened container;

indexing means for indexing in communication with said outlet containers of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device, said indexing means including

a rotatable index wheel having recesses therein, said index wheel being engageable with a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device such that said recesses each receive a respective pocket of a base sheet of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device, said index wheel and lid driving means being interconnected by a slipping clutch so that the rotation of one correlates with the rotation of the other; and

said lid driving means comprising a wheel on which a lid sheet of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device is wound up, said wheel having a winding surface which decreases in diameter when tension in said lid sheet increases.

17. A device according to claim 16, wherein the said wheel comprises a plurality of resiliently flexible arms each extending therefrom at an angle with respect to a radius.

18. An inhalation device for opening a medicament pack having a plurality of containers for containing medicament in powder form wherein the containers are defined between an elongate base sheet and an elongate lid sheet peelably secured to each other with the base sheet having a plurality of pockets therein, said inhalation device comprising:

an opening station

for receiving a container of a medicament pack being used with said inhalation device;

peeling means positioned to engage a base sheet and a lid sheet of a container which has been received in said opening station for peeling apart such a base sheet and lid sheet to open such a container, said peeling means including driving means for pulling apart a lid sheet and a base sheet of a container that has been received at said opening station;

an outlet positioned to be in communication with an opened container through which a user can inhale medicament in powder form from such an opened container;

indexing means for indexing in communication with said outlet containers of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device, said indexing means including,

means for guiding such a lid sheet and base sheet along separate paths at said opening station, said paths reuniting downstream of said opening station, said driving means being located after the point where said paths reunite and being operable to drive both a lid sheet and a base sheet.

19. A device according to claim 18, wherein the said driving means comprises a pair of toothed wheels having interengaging teeth.
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