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Claims for Patent: 5,860,419

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Claims for Patent: 5,860,419

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 Birsha (Ware, GB2), Hearne; David John (Luton, GB2), Rand; Paul Kenneth (Letchworth, GB2), Walker; Richard Ian (Ware, GB2)
Assignee: Glaxo Group Limited (London, GB2)
Application Number:08/979,217
Patent Claims: 1. In combination, an inhalation device and a medicament pack received therein,

in which said medicament pack comprises:

an elongate strip formed from a base sheet having a plurality of recesses spaced along its length and a lid sheet hermetically but peelably sealed thereto to define a plurality of containers, each container having therein inhalable medicament in powder form;

and said inhalation device comprises:

an opening station for receiving a container of said medicament pack;

peeling 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 the container;

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

indexing means for indexing communication with said outlet containers of said medicament pack.

2. A combination as claimed in claim 1, wherein the strip is flexible and is received in the device in the form of a wound roll.

3. A combination as claimed in claim 2, wherein the lid sheet and base sheet of the strip have leading end portions which are not sealed to one another.

4. A combination as claimed in claim 2, wherein the hermetic seal between the base and lid sheets extends over their whole width.

5. A combination as claimed in claim 4, wherein said peeling means comprises winding means for at least one of the lid sheet and base sheet, and wherein at least one of the said leading end portions is attached to said winding means.

6. A combination according to claim 2, wherein the device comprises a rotatable index wheel having recesses therein, the wheel engaging the medicament pack so that the recesses each receive a respective pocket.

7. A combination according to claim 6, wherein the said peeling means comprises a lid driving means, and wherein the index wheel and the lid driving means are interconnected so that the rotation of one correlates with the rotation of the other.

8. A combination according to claim 7 wherein the index wheel and lid driving means are interconnected by a slipping clutch.

9. A combination according to claim 8, 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, 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.

10. A combination according to claim 9, 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.

11. A combination according to claim 10, wherein the lid driving means comprises a wheel on which the lid sheet is wound up, the said wheel having a winding surface which decreases in diameter when tension in the lid sheet increases.

12. A combination according to claim 11, wherein the said wheel comprises a plurality of resiliently flexible arms each extending therefrom at an angle with respect to a radius.

13. A combination according to claim 2, wherein the indexing means comprise means engageable between adjacent pockets.

14. A combination according to claim 2, wherein the peeling means comprises a pair of driving wheels which drivingly engage the lid sheet between them.

15. A combination according to claim 14 wherein the said driving wheels are toothed wheels having interengaging teeth.

16. A combination according to claim 2, wherein the device comprises means for guiding the lid sheet and base sheet along separate paths at the opening station, the paths reuniting downstream of the opening station, and driving means located after the point where the path reunite, the said driving means being operable to drive both the lid sheet and base sheet.

17. A combination according to claim 16, wherein the said driving means comprises a pair of toothed wheels having interengaging teeth.

18. A combination according to claim 2, wherein the device comprises at least one chamber which receives the elongate medicament pack before opening, and receives the base sheet and lid sheet after peeling apart.

19. A combination according to claim 18, wherein at least one the elongate medicament pack and base sheet are held in coiled form by resilient coil-formers.

20. A combination according to claim 2, operable 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.

21. A combination according to claim 20, 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.
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