Chewing Over API Challenges - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Chewing Over API Challenges
We're all familiar with traditional pills and medicines, but how about medicated chewing gum? Marc Ribe, Pharma Project manager at Cafosa Gum S.A.U, explains how APIs can be incorporated into a novel dosage form that can aid patient compliance.

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
Volume 23, Issue 9

What are the specific manufacturing challenges associated with incorporating APIs and chewing gum?

We still have a few challenges to overcome with the technology. The main challenge is increasing the potential dose content of a given API in medicated chewing gum. Given that a chewing gum dosage form must have a minimum gum base content to be chewable, this limits the total API content to a maximum of approximately 200 mg in a total chewing gum piece of 1-1.2 g. However, we expect to be able to increase this minimum in the coming 1–2 years with new versions of the excipient.

What kind of future do you predict for this technology? Do you think uptake in the pharma industry will increase or will it always remain a niche dosage form?

We are pretty sure that more pharma companies will adopt this technology as a way to differentiate their product range in the current competitive landscape. New drug delivery systems are also gaining greater importance as a way to improve consumers´ compliance and preferences. Health in Gum is a good way to achieve this.

Today, chewing gum is still perceived as a confectionary pleasure by consumers, but its visibility as an attractive, high-valued drug delivery system is increasing. Major successes have been seen in the nicotine replacement therapy gum market, and several new products have also been developed in diverse categories such as analgesics, digestive, cough and cold medicines, and antiallergics. New gum medications in weight management, energy supply or oral care categories are also beginning to appear in pharmacies.

One issue to consider with medicated chewing gum is over consumption. Medicated chewing gum is a medicine and must be considered as such. This is reinforced with packaging, for instance, which is much more medical and contains a leaflet.

Theses successes make me really optimistic that medicated chewing gum will progressively leave its current niche category to become a solid drug delivery system in the coming years. Gum technology has evolved very much in the recent years and we are very confident that these breakthroughs can be transferred into the pharma industry.


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