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A Formula For Success - Taste-Masking of Oral Pharmaceuticals Can Be the Key to Strong Sales

Linda Sheffield stands and stares at the many chewable children's vitamins on the pharmacy shelf. She reads the labels carefully and determines that the cheaper store brand has virtually all of the same vitamins and minerals as the more expensive brand name pills. She tosses the store brand vitamins into her basket. The next morning, she hands her daughter one of her new vitamin tablets. Her daughter chews slowly, makes a face and spits out the partially chewed tablet, whining, "Mummy, that tastes terrible". Linda shakes her head, realising that this cost-saving choice will end up costing her more in the long run if she can't get her daughter to take her vitamins.

What makes one over-the-counter (OTC) drug more successful than another? In most cases, superior flavour quality. Addressing flavour quality early on allows pharmaceutical manufacturers to build an advantage over their competitors. Even for prescription (Rx) drugs, it is wise to address flavour quality from the start, as many of today's Rx drugs will eventually become tomorrow's OTCs.


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By Jeffrey Worthington, Vice President of Arthur D. Little

Jeffrey Worthington is Vice President of Arthur D. Little and a Director in the technology and innovation business, where he focuses on issues at the intersection of food, health and nutrition. He also has overall responsibility for Arthur D. Little's strategic alliances in this domain. His professional experience is in market and technology assessment, product planning and the development of prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, nutritionals, nutraceuticals, foods, beverages and other consumer packaged goods. Jeffrey earned a BS in Chemistry from Northeastern University and a Masters in Business Administration from Babson College. He is a professional member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), the Institute of Food Technologists and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

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Jeffrey Worthington
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