Tracking Solid-Dosage Equipment - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Tracking Solid-Dosage Equipment
Tablets and capsules are mainstay product forms, so what are the spending and innovation trends for solid-dosage manufacturing equipment and machinery?


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 34, Issue 4, pp. 58-62

Solid-dosage manufacturing is a significant part of the pharmaceutical industry's manufacturing activities. Pharmaceutical Technology's Annual Equipment and Machinery Survey (see "Spending More or Less, and on What?" of this issue for complete survey results and survey methodology) examined the spending and innovation trends for pharmaceutical machinery and equipment across all sectors. So how did survey respondents rank solid-dosage equipment in terms of their purchasing decisions and level of innovation, and what are some of the broader trends affecting this area?

Purchasing decisions

Solid-dosage manufacturing. The survey showed that the majority of respondents are either maintaining or reducing their expenditures of machinery and equipment for solid-dosage manufacturing. Seventy percent of respondents kept their spending on solid-dosage equipment either the same or decreased spending in 2009 compared with 2008 levels. Fifty-two percent kept spending at the same level, and 18.1% decreased spending. Almost 30% (29.9%) of respondents increased spending in 2009.


IMAGE: INFLUX PRODUCTIONS, PHOTODISK, GETTY IMAGES
A similar pattern holds true for planned expenditures for 2010, although slightly more respondents anticipate that their companies will increase spending on solid-dosage manufacturing equipment in 2010 compared with 2009. The survey showed that 32.7% of respondents plan to increase their expenditures on solid-dosage manufacturing equipment in 2010, 50.5% will keep it the same, and 16.8% plan to decrease spending.

In drilling down to specific equipment types, the survey showed that 27.4% of respondents increased their spending on tablet presses or capsule-filling machines in 2009 compared with 2008 levels, 52.7% kept spending the same, and 20% decreased spending. In 2010, slightly fewer respondents plan to increase their expenditures on tablet presses or capsule-filling machines. Roughly one-quarter (25.3%) plan to increase spending in 2010 compared with 2009 levels, 52.9% plan to keep it the same, and 21.8% decreased spending.

Other product forms. How do the solid-dosage spending levels compare with spending for manufacturing equipment of other product forms? The survey showed more robust spending for equipment and machinery used in parenteral manufacturing, sterile manufacturing, and aseptic processing. Almost 35% (34.9%) of respondents increased spending on equipment and machinery used in parenteral manufacturing, sterile manufacturing, and aseptic processing in 2009 compared with 2008 levels. Approximately half (50.4%) kept spending at the same level, and 14.7% decreased spending.

The spending levels for equipment and machinery used in parenteral manufacturing, sterile manufacturing, and aseptic processing planned for 2010 are on par with 2009 levels. The survey showed that 32.8% of respondents plan to increase spending, 50.6% plan to keep it the same, and 17.2% plan to decrease it.

Small molecules versus biologics. Another way to evaluate spending trends that can influence demand for solid-dosage manufacturing equipment is to examine purchasing trends for small-molecule and biologic-based drug substances. Consistent with overall industry trends that show increased drug development in biologics, more respondents increased spending in 2009 and plan to increase spending in 2010 for equipment and machinery used in biologic-based active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing than for small-molecule API manufacturing. The survey showed that 36.5% of respondents increased spending on machinery and equipment used in biologic-based API manufacturing in 2009 compared with 2008, 50.5% kept it the same, and 13.2% decreased spending. In contrast, less than one-quarter (21.7%) of respondents increased spending on small-molecule API manufacturing, 56.6% kept it the same, and 21.7% decreased it.

A similar distribution holds for 2010 as well. The survey showed that 31.9% of respondents plan to increase expenditures on equipment for biologic-based API manufacturing in 2010 compared with 2009, 51.4% plan to keep it the same, and 16.7% will decrease it. On the small-molecule API side, only 23.3% of respondents expect to increase purchasing, 54.8% will keep it the same, and 21.9% will decrease it.


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