Latin America has become a promising region for the pharmaceutical industry in terms of both R&D and sales. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in Mexico, which has become a top priority market for many of the major multinational pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore, the Mexican government is increasing its investment in healthcare resources and there is a strong, growing demand from the population for access to newer and better medical treatments.
Although physicochemical preformulation screening is practised universally within the pharmaceutical industry, physicomechanical screening is applied to a lesser extent and often only where a problem exists.
Chewing gum is being developed by Generex as an alternative buccal drug delivery method of metformin for treating diabetes. Results from a small clinical trial, which compared pharmacokinetic profiles of metformin gum with its traditional tablet form, suggest that the gum could additionally avoid the significant adverse gastrointestinal side-effects, including diarrhoea and nausea/vomiting, often accompanying the use of metformin tablets. Given that approximately 30% of metformin users experience such unwanted effects, the gum version could improve patient compliance.
The European Science Foundation (ESF) has published the conclusions of its 2-year Forward Look Study on Nanomedicine. Defined as a billionth of a metre, a nanometer is 1000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Nanomedicine uses nanoscale technology to diagnose and treat disease. The scope of the study included defining the field of nanomedicine, reviewing what has been achieved so far, determining Europe's strengths and weaknesses, and drawing up plans to ensure continued growth.
Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will gain administrative and procedural assistance from the EMEA. The agency's SME office was launched in December 2005 and follows the new Commission Regulation, which aims to promote the development of medicinal products in SMEs.
Aggregation or coagulation of drug particles in a parenteral suspension can pose a serious threat to product quality, particularly for products that require extended shelf life. In the worst case, aggregation can lead to the formation of a nonresuspendable sediment, known as caking. Controlling physical stability is difficult because of the complexity of this phenomenon. This article gives an overview of the factors that were found to be the most important in our search to improve the physical stability of a pharmaceutical suspension.
The total area of land planted with biotech crops was up 11% in 2005. An extra 17 billion m2 of crops were planted, contributed to by 250000 new farmers and four new countries. The most popular genetically modified crop remained herbicide tolerant soybeans, which made up 60% of the total global area. Maybe the most significant new planting of 2005 was the Iranian crop of biotech rice — the staple foodstuff of the world's poorest people. The crop could possibly help in the UN's Millennium development goal to reduce poverty, hunger and malnutrition by 50% by 2015.