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The first digital pill will carry a price tag of $1,650 per month and soon be rolled out commercially to the first patients: people with mental illness covered by Medicaid, likely in regions including Florida and Virginia.

The pill, sold by the drug maker Otsuka as Abilify MyCite, is embedded with a sensor that can alert a patient’s physician or caregiver after it’s been swallowed. Approved last November by the Food and Drug Administration for patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, it’s a high-tech upgrade to the antipsychotic drug Abilify, which was first approved 16 years ago and has now gone generic.


The first patients to try out the product outside of clinical trials will be those on a handful of Medicaid plans administered by the managed care company Magellan Health, which operates across the U.S. Patients can opt in if they want to try it, and Magellan will not have access to patients’ individual-level data on whether and at what time they ingested their pills.

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