Advancing Dosage Innovation with the Patient in Mind

October 15, 2012

AAPS Workshop Highlights Patient-centric Drug Delivery Research

Morristown, NJ, October 15, 2012: Developing innovative medicines, tailor-made for specific patient populations is the first step towards increasing adherence and improving treatment outcomes concluded participants who gathered for a workshop titled ‘Patient centric Drug Delivery, Product Design and Development: Meeting the Requirements in Future Healthcare’ held ahead of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition taking place in Chicago this week.

The session brought together experts from industry, academia and regulatory authorities to discuss the evolving importance and need for patient-centric drug delivery research and implementation into drug product development. Topics discussed included new insights into the latest science, patient understanding, regulations and technologies as well as future opportunities for patient-centric drug delivery in pharmaceutical science.

“To combat unsatisfying therapeutic outcomes, the industry is joining forces to develop strategies toward improving therapy convenience and patient appropriateness. With a focus on patient-centric drug delivery, the patient’s needs are at the forefront of drug development,” reported Sven Stegemann, Ph.D., Director for Pharmaceutical Business Development at Capsugel and Chair of the AAPS Workshop. “At Capsugel, we’re gearing our research and development toward patient-centric dosage form solutions that may include custom colors to ease identification and other capsule design options to ‘simplify’ medicines in the eyes of the patients.”  

Participants of the workshop focused on specialized assessments of patients in age groups like pediatrics and geriatrics as well as patients with specific complex conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or Parkinson’s disease. They stressed the shifting role of pharmacists from dispensing to direct clinical practice, highlighting the importance of multidisciplinary collaborations and the provision of more appropriate drug products. This standard of care has evolved over the years to ensure that each patient receives medication that is effective for a particular medical condition but also respects the specific personal conditions arising from age, morbidity and co-morbidities, and disabilities.

Other important trends needed to optimize patient outcomes include more sophisticated use of technology. Although scientists continue to improve drug delivery processes by utilizing electronic health records, web-based applications and other forms of digital communication, patient-centric care is still a growing and complex field that meets plenty of challenges.

“When patients become part of the developmental process – beyond clinical efficacy, to drug delivery and product design – there will no longer be assumptions but solid facts about drug products in the hand of the patient. We will be surprised about the basic things which benefit the patients,” said Dr. Stegemann. “When patient-centric drug products become a reality, adherence will make a big step forward, leading to improved therapeutic outcomes and significant healthcare cost savings. But most importantly, it will increase the patients’ health and quality of life,” added Dr. Stegemann.