Top 5 Game-Changing Drug Delivery Technologies

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It is not enough to invent a potential new miracle drug. If there is no efficient way to get the therapeutic to exactly where it is needed, without harming healthy cells, then the drug is no "miracle" at all. If the drug produces so many unpleasant side effects that patient compliance becomes an issue, development is far from over. This remains true not only with drugs that are in development, but even those that are already on the market. Just because it has been approved by the FDA and is being successfully and safely used by consumers does not mean development of that drug is over.

What new delivery methods bring to the table are not only unique ways to continue innovating even after the therapeutic goes off patent, but the ability to give relief to patients who may be suffering from drug side effects.

Drug delivery is not just about getting a therapeutic to its target. It's also about finding new materials that can make the journey without interfering with the drug. One of the major problems facing the pharmaceutical industry today is the poor solubility of drugs. So, drugmakers tack on compounds to make it more soluble. Unfortunately, patients read about the side-effects of those soluble compounds in the often-mocked, ubiquitous "fine print" that drug companies are forced to include in their commercials. The challenge is to find materials that make those side effects disappear.

The drug delivery industry is not only alive and well, but could be booming in the near future. Here are the top five technologies catching drugmakers' attention.

1. Oral Thin Films
2. Microneedles
3. Slow release/extended release for addiction
4. Aerosol
5. Liposomes