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Keep Your Powder Dry

In the days of muzzle loaders the most important thing was to keep your gunpowder dry. In 1649 Oliver Cromwell wanted his troops to stay prepared for action and is often quoted as saying, "Put your trust in God; but be sure to keep your powder dry". Over 350 years later, and with reference to dry powder inhalers, the sentiment is the same. It may be a great active and device, but only if you keep your powder dry.

This article discusses the importance of moisture in determining the performance of a dry powder inhaler (DPI) system; the concept of a moisture budget for a DPI; the sources of moisture; how these can be understood; and the protection of a DPI from the harmful effects of moisture. It outlines an approach to investigation of product and packaging integrity and how assessment of container integrity could be used to quickly determine potential product stability. This would conventionally take many months in an environmental chamber.


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Sarah Creeke has a BA in Natural Sciences with a background in chemical and physical sciences. At PA Consulting, Sarah has specialised in devices and systems for drug delivery including technologies for inhalation and a needleless injection device, work on novel infusion systems and development of an oral drug delivery form.

Andrew Gill is a Pharmacist with over 18 years' experience in pharmaceutical development, manufacturing and quality assurance including regulatory affairs. Andrew's work is focused on development and commercialisation of drug delivery systems and delivery devices. This includes manufacturing and analytical processes, technology transfer and scale-up.

Phil Seeney has an engineering and design background with extensive experience in the development of medical devices, drug delivery products and associated business processes. A qualified FSA representative for PA Strategy Partners, Phil frequently inputs to a number of technical audits and due diligence assignments within the health care sector. Phil regularly chairs an international conference on Nasal Drug Delivery.

Rod Smith has a degree and PhD in Chemistry specialising in analytical chemistry and chemical kinetics. His work at PA Consulting is directed toward integrity testing of pharmaceutical and health care products and packages, using a range of advanced analytical techniques.

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Sarah Creeke
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Andrew Gill
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Phil Seeney
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Rod Smith
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