So far, most drugs are swallowed. But there has also been talk in the pharmaceutical industry that many medicines can be transported into the body more easily and gently via skin patches – and require much less active ingredient. The SHS-funded company AMW (Medicines Plant Warngau) near Munich has taken this insight as an opportunity to develop a so-called transdermal patch with fully electronic control. “Our patches can be switched on and off with a transmitter,” says AMW founder and chief executive Wilfried Fischer. Thus, a patient who knows full well that chronic pain is tormented, especially in the late afternoon and at night, can snap out the patch in the morning. He doesn’t turn it on until he really needs the active ingredient.