Technology Forecast for Injectables - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Technology Forecast for Injectables
A Conversation with Greystone Associates' George Perros. This article contains bonus online-exclusive material.


Pharmaceutical Technology


PharmTech» What kind of innovations are you seeing?

»Perros: The growth of reusable injectors with replaceable cartridges has been significant, particularly for drugs indicated for chronic conditions. Some of these devices allow the patient to adjust the dose. These are most often used for insulin administration, where the patient is adjusting the dose after measuring their blood glucose levels.

The arrival of disposable autoinjectors is an exciting development. Autoinjectors are pen-like devices that allow the user to insert a prefilled syringe and simplify the injection event. For years, this segment was dominated by reusable autoinjectors, which are made of durable materials but are a bit pricey. Recently, disposable autoinjectors have begun to appear. These less-expensive devices are providing drug marketers with new opportunities because they can be bundled or paired with a prefilled syringe. It's extending the utility and user-friendliness of autoinjectors to a growing number of patients who would otherwise need to master the art of injection with a naked prefilled syringe.

There have also been improvements in safety features for syringes used by healthcare providers. Retractable safety syringes, which are designed with needles that retract after injection to minimize the risk of needlestick injuries to care-givers, are starting to find traction in North America, and to a lesser degree, in Europe.

PharmTech» I see that the market for antivirals seems to have plateaued since 2007. Can you explain that trend? Which antivirals in particular are you focusing on?

»Perros: Interferons for infectious diseases, particularly Hepatitis C, are designed to boost the immune response to an infection. Because of difficulty with patient compliance due to side effects, this segment has experienced uneven growth. We expect that trend to continue.

PharmTech» The global market for pens containing insulin is trending up gradually. Do you see that growth coming from domestic or international growth primarily?

»Perros: Pens are already the most popular way to self-administer insulin in Europe. These devices are becoming more popular among diabetics in the US and this popularity will help overall growth in the near-term.

PharmTech» Are there any technologies that seem to be losing traction?

»Perros: Needle-free injectors continue to struggle. We think that this is because the current generation of pen injectors—with their quick and relatively painless operation and user friendly features—to a large extent obviate the need for needle-free devices.


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