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Claims for Patent: 8,201,556

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Claims for Patent: 8,201,556

Title:Medicament dispenser
Abstract: There is provided a sheet driver for use in a medicament dispenser including a medicament carrier having a plurality of pockets for containing medicament wherein said pockets are spaced along the length of and defined between first and second sheets secured to each other and separable by drivable pulling action, the sheet driver comprising a base; ascending from the base, a shaft defining a rotational axis; on the base, a drive surface for receipt of drive to rotate the base about the rotational axis; about the shaft, a torsion spring defining first and second spring legs; mounting about the shaft and the torsion spring for rotation about the rotational axis, a hub defining a hub surface for receipt of a sheet of the medicament carrier. A first leg receiver of the base receives the first spring leg of the torsion spring and a second leg receiver of the hub receives the second spring leg of the torsion spring such that relative rotation of the base and the hub results in tensioning of the torsion spring.
Inventor(s): Jones; Christopher John (Warwick, GB), May; James John (Warwick, GB), Lintell; Daniel Thomas De Sausmarez (Ware, GB), Palmer; Mark Gregory (Ware, GB), Tansley; Robert William (Bidford on Avon, GB)
Assignee: Glaxo Group Limited (Greenford, Middlesex, GB)
Application Number:11/573,656
Patent Claims: 1. A sheet driver for use in a medicament dispenser including a medicament carrier having a plurality of pockets for containing medicament wherein said pockets are spaced along the length of and defined between first and second sheets secured to each other and separable by drivable pulling action, said sheet driver comprising (a) a base; (b) extending from said base, a shaft defining a rotational axis; (c) at said base, a drive surface for receipt of drive to rotate the base about said rotational axis; (d) about said shaft, a torsion spring defining first and second spring legs; (e) mounting about the shaft and said torsion spring for rotation about the rotational axis, a hub defining a hub surface for receipt of a sheet of said medicament carrier, wherein a base leg receiver of the base receives said first spring leg of the torsion spring and a hub leg receiver of said hub receives said second spring leg of the torsion spring such that relative rotation of the base and the hub results in tensioning of the torsion spring; and wherein the hub is mounted to the base with the torsion spring wound to a tensed state and the hub and the base interact to prevent the torsion spring unwinding from its mounted tensed state.

2. A sheet driver according to claim 1, wherein the base is of essentially circular form.

3. A sheet driver according to claim 1, wherein the shaft is integral with the base.

4. A sheet driver according to claim 1, wherein the drive surface defines a gearing surface.

5. A sheet driver according to claim 1, wherein the drive surface extends circumferentially about the base.

6. A sheet driver according to claim 1, wherein the drive surface is integral with the base.

7. A sheet driver according to claim 6, wherein the base defines a rim and the drive surface is provided to said rim.

8. A sheet driver according to claim 1, wherein the hub fits over the torsion spring and shaft.

9. A sheet driver according to claim 1, wherein the hub is provided with sheet engaging means for engaging the end of a sheet.

10. A sheet driver according to claim 9, wherein the sheet engaging means comprises loop-engaging means for engaged receipt of a looped end of a sheet.

11. A medicament dispenser for use with a medicament carrier having a plurality of pockets for containing medicament wherein said pockets are spaced along the length of and defined between first and second sheets secured to each other and separable by drivable pulling action, said dispenser having an internal dispensing mechanism for accessing said medicament contained within said medicament carrier, said mechanism comprising, a) an opening station for receiving a pocket of said medicament carrier; b) peeling means positioned to engage a base sheet and a lid sheet of a pocket which has been received in said opening station for peeling apart such a base sheet and lid sheet, to open such a pocket, said peeling means including a sheet driver according to claim 1 for pulling apart a lid sheet and a base sheet of a pocket that has been received at said opening station; c) an outlet, positioned to be in communication with an opened pocket through which a user can remove medicament from such an opened pocket; and d) indexer for indexing in communication with said outlet, pockets of a medicament carrier in use with said medicament dispenser, said indexer being interconnected with said sheet driver such that movement of one correlates with the movement of the other.

12. A medicament dispenser for use with plural medicament carriers, each having a plurality of pockets for containing medicament wherein said pockets are spaced along the length of and defined between first and second sheets secured to each other and separable by drivable pulling action, said dispenser having an internal dispensing mechanism for accessing said medicament contained within each of said plural medicament carriers, said mechanism comprising, a) an opening station for receiving a pocket of each of said plural medicament carriers; b) peeling means positioned to engage a base sheet and a lid sheet of a pocket which has been received in said opening station for peeling apart such a base sheet and lid sheet, to open such a pocket, said peeling means including a sheet driver as according to claim 1 for pulling apart a lid sheet and a base sheet of a pocket that has been received at said opening station; c) an outlet, positioned to be in communication with an opened pocket through which a user can remove medicament from such an opened pocket; and d) an indexer for indexing in communication with said outlet, pockets of each of said plural medicament carriers in use with said medicament dispenser, said indexer being interconnected with said sheet driver such that movement of one correlates with the movement of the other.

13. A medicament dispenser according to claim 12, additionally comprising an indexing lever for actuating the indexer and sheet driver.

14. A medicament dispenser according to claim 13, wherein the indexing lever couples to a movable cover provided to the dispenser such that movement of the cover results in movement of the indexing lever.

15. A medicament dispenser according to claim 1, additionally comprising at least one medicament carrier having a plurality of pockets containing medicament wherein said pockets are spaced along the length of and defined between first and second sheets secured to each other and separable by drivable pulling action.

16. A medicament dispenser according to claim 15, wherein said at least one medicament carrier comprises a lid sheet which is hermetically sealed to a base sheet except in the region of the blisters such that said lid sheet and base sheet can be peeled apart by said drivable pulling action.

17. A medicament dispenser according to claim 15, wherein a leading end of either the base or lid sheet or is looped for receipt by the hub.

18. A medicament dispenser according to claim 15, wherein the medicament is in powdered or tablet form.

19. A medicament dispenser according to claim 18, wherein the medicament comprises a drug.

20. A medicament dispenser according to claim 19, wherein the drug is selected from the group consisting of albuterol, salmeterol, fluticasone propionate, beclomethasone dipropionate, salts thereof, and solvates thereof.

21. A medicament dispenser according to claim 18, wherein the medicament additionally comprises an excipient.

22. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 1 wherein the shaft is provided with a hub retaining feature, wherein the hub can be mounted to the shaft in a first assembled state in which the hub retaining feature does not engage the hub, and wherein the hub can be mounted to the shaft in a second assembled state wherein the hub retaining feature does engage the hub to retain it on the shaft.

23. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 22 wherein the hub retaining feature comprises a protruding lip which engages a cooperating aperture of the hub.

24. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 23 wherein the hub aperture snap fits over the protruding lip.

25. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 23 wherein the protruding lip comprises an annular lip which encircles the shaft.

26. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 25 wherein the protruding lip is located on the shaft at a point remote from the shaft end such that the hub can be located on the shaft via the cooperating aperture without engaging the protruding lip to provide the first assembled state of the hub and base.

27. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 26 wherein the hub and base can be moved from the first assembled state to the second assembled state by moving the hub along the shaft so that the hub aperture engages the protruding lip.

28. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 1 wherein the base is provided with a base unwind prevention feature, and the hub is provided with a hub unwind prevention feature, and the hub unwind prevention feature engages the base unwind prevention feature to prevent the torsion spring unwinding from its wound state as mounted.

29. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 28 wherein the base unwind prevention feature and hub unwind prevention feature are engaged under the force of the torsion spring.

30. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 28 wherein the first unwind feature comprises a wall of the base leg receiver.

31. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 28 wherein the second unwind feature comprises a stepped wall.

32. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 31 wherein the stepped wall has an arcuate surface which lies coaxial with the hub.

33. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 32 wherein the stepped wall projects from an underside of the hub.

34. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 28 wherein the shaft is provided with a hub retaining feature, wherein the hub can be mounted to base via the shaft in a first assembled state in which the hub retaining feature does not engage the hub, and wherein the hub can be mounted to the base via the shaft in a second assembled state wherein the hub retaining feature does engage the hub to retain it on the shaft, and where the hub and base can be moved from the first assembled state to the second assembled state, and wherein the hub unwind prevention feature only engages the base unwind prevention feature to prevent unwinding of the torsion spring in the second assembled state.

35. A sheet driver as claimed in claim 34 wherein the hub unwind feature and base unwind prevention feature are adapted to prevent moving the hub and shaft from the first assembled state to the second assembled state until a defined rotation has been applied to the hub relative to the base thereby winding the torsion spring to its wound state as mounted.
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