Thin film drug manufacturing involves drugs to be incorporated into thin polymeric films so that the drug gets wider absorption. Thin film formulation is a recent advancement in the drug delivery fields. From pharmacological point of view, thin film drug manufacturing offers distinct advantage due to direct systemic absorption. This prevents degradation of drug into the gastrointestinal tract and also avoids first pass effect.
Another advantage of thin films drugs is that it dissolves rapidly therefore increases the patient compliance. The future growth for thin film drug manufacturing market is very promising due to increasing acceptance of this technology by the pharmaceutical companies. The growth will be further fuelled by both the generic and branded drug manufacturers launching their drugs in thin film formulation. The factors which currently restrain the market are small amount (less than 30mg) of drugs that can be administered and the inconsistent drug release pattern from these formulations.
Thin Film Drug Manufacturing Market: Current and Emerging Trends
The global thin film drug manufacturing market is segmented into edible oral films, fully dissolving dental/buccal films and dermal films. Dermal thin films include advanced wound dressings and temporary skin plaster. The global thin film drug manufacturing market is expected to expand in the coming years owing to several advantages over the conventional routes of drug deliveries.
Presently, over-the-counter thin films are available in the market for applications such as pain management and motion sickness. Transdermal patches have been already commercialized which use thin polymer films for drug delivery. Some of the popular thin film products include Listerine Pocketpaks® (Pfizer, Inc.) oral care strips for mouth ulcers, TheraFlu Thin Strips (Multi Symptom and Long Acting Cough, Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.), Sudafed PE Quick Dissolving Strips (Wolters Kluwer Healthc, Inc.) for congestion, Triaminic (Novartis AG) for allergy, Gas-x Strips (Novartis AG) as antiflatulant, Suppress (InnoZen, Inc.) for cough, Klonopin wafers (Solvay Pharmaceuticals) for anxiety, and for Chloraseptic (Prestige Brands, Inc.) sore throat.
Thin Film Drug Manufacturing Market: Competitive Insight
Today thin films containing drugs is an accepted technology for systemic delivery of APIs for over-the-counter (OTC) medications while this technology is under development stages for prescription drugs. The companies which have been in the market manufacturing the formulations for transdermal drug delivery using polymer coatings to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are now capitalizing this new opportunity.
These companies therefore have a competitive advantage over the new entrants into market. Furthermore, the leading pharmaceutical companies have also focused on partnering with technology companies rather than investing in the technology. For instance, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. has collaborated with MonoSol Rx, LLC, for utilizing latter’s proprietary PharmFilm technology for delivering drugs. This collaboration has led to successful product Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual film that has been approved by FDA in 2010. Similarly, Strativa Pharmaceuticals has developed Zuplenz (ondansetron oral soluble film) using the same technology from MonoSol Rx, LLC.
Several companies are adopting these technologies to bring more formulations which include oral route as well. Presently, the global market for thin film drug manufacturing is relatively immature with little number of products in the market. However, in the coming years the number of players in market will increase the competition and expand the global market. Some of the important players in the global thin film drug manufacturing market include Reckitt Benckiser plc, Pfizer Inc., Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., Wolters Kluwer Healthc, Inc., InnoZen, Inc.
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