New drug technologies are seeking to remove the pain and hassle from taking medicine by replacing jabs with breathing and consuming tasty drinks, a report to the Singapore Pharmacy Congress said on Tuesday.
Professor Hans Junginger addressed the move towards more convenient and efficient methods of drug delivery, said Channel NewsAsia, citing the replacement of insulin injections with breathable insulin, vaccines with skin patches, and tablets with mild tasting wafers or granules.
Antibiotic in a straw
An example is Clarosip, a plastic drinking straw filled with the antibiotic clarithromycin launched last November by the German company Grunenthal, said Junginger, a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore.
Sipping a favourite drink with the straw releases the antibiotic, he said, without the frustration of swallowing tablets or coaxing children to do so.
"There are elderly people who are unable to swallow; not all drugs dissolve easily in water," the broadcaster quoted Junginger as saying.
"With this new technology, controlled release of granules which can be simply drunk will be of great advantage for the patient," he said.
Sting taken out of injections
Taking the sting out of injections are technologies such as the inhalent insulin Exubera, which could potentially do away with the 20 000 insulin injections a diabetic undergoes in 10 years.
Insulin powder is released in a small inhaler, Junginger explained. A few deep breaths allow all the fine power to be absorbed quickly into the bloodstream.
Micro-needle and patch technology designed to allow drugs to permeate the skin could also make vaccines painless and trauma-free, Junginger said.
He predicted wafers incorporated with medicine, similar to breath-freshening strips currently in the market, could also be available in two or three years. – (Sapa-dpa)
Meds and You Centre
Antibiotics in a straw