Optimizing tablet manufacturing complex but vital: I Holland

As is the case with most manufacturing operations, companies manufacturing pharmaceutical tablets are under ever-increasing pressure to make their production more effective, cost-efficient, and speedy. Outsourcing-Pharma spoke with I Holland marketing manager Alex Bunting about factors impacting tablet manufacturing, and how to effect improvements along the process.

OSP: Could you please share an overview of how the aging global population is impacting drug development and pharmaceutical manufacturing?

AB: Life expectancy is increasing globally thanks to growing prosperity, and the increase in effective pharmaceuticals. This means there are now many more older people within the population.

This can present a problem when it comes to tablets. Elderly people often have difficulties with dexterity and loss of hand strength making simple tasks like breaking a tablet difficult. This means they can break in uneven parts which can affect the dosage. Manufacturers are having to adapt their design and produce tablets that can be easily used by all age groups, including those with dexterity issues.

Innovative tablet tooling has been designed to help in the manufacture of tablets that can be broken easily and evenly. Patients who have issues with fine motor function through either chronic illness or age-related degenerative disorders such as arthritis can find it painful or impossible to break tablets.

One solution to this is the use of specially defined and adapted break lines on the tablet. One specific answer is the snap tab or deep quadrisect designs. With the snap tab design, the dose can even be split on a flat surface with relatively light pressure from the heel of the hand, for example.

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