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Claims for Patent: 6,378,519

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Claims for Patent: 6,378,519

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, GB), Hearne; David John (Luton, GB), Rand; Paul Kenneth (Letchworth, GB), Walker; Richard Ian (Ware, GB)
Assignee: Glaxo Group Limited (London, GB)
Application Number:09/456,201
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;

a peeler positioned to engage peelable sheets of a container which has been received in said opening station so as to peel apart the peelable sheets, opening the 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

an indexer positioned to index 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 container, said peeler comprising a driver for pulling such a lid sheet and a base sheet apart at the opening station.

3. A device according to claim 2 wherein said indexer is 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 driver comprises a lid driver for pulling such a lid sheet.

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

8. A device according to claim 6 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 driver are interconnected so that the rotation of one correlates with the rotation of the other.

11. A device according to claim 1 operable in a plurality of steps, which comprises an indicator 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 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;

a peeler positioned to engage a base sheet and a lid sheet of a container which has been received in said opening station so as to peel apart such a base sheet and lid sheet, to open such a container, said peeler including a lid driver 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

an indexer for indexing a communication with said outlet containers of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device, said indexer 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 driver 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 driver 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 a first clutch member movable with the index wheel and a second clutch movable with the lid driver, one of the clutch members comprising an annular array of serrations and the other of the clutch members being adapted to grippingly engage the serrations when less than a predetermined force is applied between the two clutch members 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;

a peeler positioned to engage a base sheet and a lid sheet of a container which has been received in said opening station so as to peel apart such a base sheet and lid sheet, to open such a container, said peeler including a lid driver 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;

an indexer positioned to index in communication with said outlet containers of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device, said indexer 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 driver being interconnected by a slipping clutch so that the rotation of one correlates with the rotation of the other; and

said lid driver 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 another 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;

a peeler 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 peeler including a driver 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;

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

a guide 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 driver 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 driver comprises a pair of toothed wheels having interengaging teeth.

20. In combination an inhalation device and a medicament pack received therein, in which said medicament pack comprises:

a strip formed from a base sheet having a plurality of recesses 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.

21. An inhalation device for use with a medicament pack having a plurality of containers for containing medicament in powder form wherein the containers are 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;

a peeler positioned to engage peelable sheets of a container which has been received in said opening station so as to peel apart the peelable sheets, opening the 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

an indexer positioned to index in communication with said outlet containers of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device.

22. 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 a base sheet and a 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;

a peeler positioned to engage a base sheet and a lid sheet of a container which has been received in said opening station so as to peel apart such a base sheet and lid sheet, to open such a container, said peeler including a lid driver 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

an indexer for indexing in communication with said outlet containers of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device, said indexer 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 driver being interconnected by a slipping clutch so that the rotation of one correlates with the rotation of the other.

23. 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 a base sheet and a 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 medicament pack being used with said inhalation device;

a peeler positioned to engage a base sheet and a lid sheet of a container which has been received in said opening station so as to peel apart such a base sheet and lid sheet, to open such a container, said peeler including a lid driver 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;

an indexer positioned to index in communication with said outlet containers of a medicament pack in use with said inhalation device, said indexer 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 driver being interconnected by a slipping clutch so that the rotation of one correlates with the rotation of the other; and

said lid driver 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.

24. 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 a base sheet and a 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;

a peeler 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 peeler including a driver 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;

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

a guide 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 driver being located after the point where said paths reunite and being operable to drive both a lid sheet and a base sheet.

25. In combination, an inhalation device and a medicament pack received therein,

said medicament pack being formed from a base sheet having a plurality of recesses and a lid sheet peelably sealed in superposed relationship thereto to define a plurality of containers, each having therein inhalable medicament in powder form; and

said inhalation device comprising:

an opening station receiving a container of said medicament pack;

a peeler positioned to engage peelable sheets of a container which has been received in said opening station so as to peel apart the peelable sheets, opening the container; and

an outlet positioned in communication with an opened container through which a user can inhale the medicament in powder form from the opened container.

26. A medicament pack for use in an inhalation device, the pack being formed from a base sheet having a plurality of recesses and a lid sheet hermetically but peelably sealed thereto to define a plurality of containers, each container having therein inhalable medicament in powder form.
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