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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

The Future of Drug Manufacturing Innovation



PMPS: What are the main challenges facing tablet production today?

Korinde van den Heuvel: Despite tablets being the main mode of pharmaceutical delivery worldwide, there are major challenges in the way they are made and the way they are taken. Traditional facilities are not geared towards the smallscale production needed for clinical trials, orphan drugs, or the creation of designer tablets for personalised medicine. Taste, mouthfeel, or solubility can make tablets hard to take. Tablets also have a lack of dose flexibility. Smaller measurements are often delivered by breaking tablets into segments, which results in imprecise dosing.

Why should pharma companies consider 3D printed tablets?

From enabling personalised medicine to accelerating the drug development pathway, 3D printing offers huge potential to meet the above challenges. It offers opportunities in shape modifications, dose flexibility, solubility enhancement, and multiple pills with multiple active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). There is huge potential to deliver bespoke, small batches in the clinical trials market. When it comes to patient-centred medicine, 3D printed tablets, which can be created on demand in local healthcare settings could open up a new era of personalised medicines. Whatís more, the 3D printing of medications can potentially accelerate the scaling up of manufacturing.

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Having joined DFE Pharma in April 2014, Korinde van den Heuvel is a Senior Product Developer who has worked on multiple oral solid dose (OSD) projects, as well as focusing on 3D printing of pharmaceutical tablets. Prior to working at DFE Pharma, Korinde worked in formulation development at Synthon for 10 years developing various generic and OSD forms, such as orally disintegrating, immediate release, and modified release tablets and capsules. Korinde holds a Masterís degree in Organic Chemistry from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

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