Q. What are the key drivers for change in the tabletting industry?
Chris Prideaux: There are many changes affecting the tabletting industry — many of which stem from those taking place in the pharma industry as a whole. The biggest drivers for change are the number of blockbusters coming off patent, and the inexorable growth of generic drug producers and contract manufactures. Both factors place an immediate demand on suppliers of manufacturing equipment for systems offering better speed of response and better value for money. The drive to optimise growth opportunities in developing markets is also leading to greater globalisation. The relocation of facilities away from traditionally high-cost developed markets to lower-cost developing markets means that suppliers of tabletting machines and other pharma manufacturing equipment must be able to meet the needs of these markets and provide increasing levels of support.Dale Natoli: I think the main focus of the tabletting industry at the moment is on quality, and boosting productivity and manufacturing efficiency. From a tablet compression tooling standpoint, regulatory affairs are making a stronger presence in medium and large-scale operations with regards to more stringent process controls to ensure tablet quality.
Sophie Chesnoy: Looking at the tabletting industry from the point of view of an excipient supplier, the main drivers for change will be the development of new excipients for solid dosage forms that enable better control over physical properties, ultimately improving the quality of the final product. In particular, tabletting manufacturers' needs for improved powder flowability, compressibility and lubrication are key in driving excipient innovation.