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I’ve Seen The Future Of Drug Delivery And It's A Bear

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 3:09pm
Mike Auerbach, Editor in Chief, Pharmaceutical Processing

When I was a kid – a long, long time ago – you either took your medicine or died. At least that’s what my mother told me.

Medicine back then never tasted good – it wasn’t supposed to – it was supposed to make you feel better – end of discussion.

I do remember some of the more awful tasting products though – when Chloraseptic sore throat spray first came out it was about as awful tasting as they come. It did a good job of relieving a sore throat if you lived past the first spray of it on your tongue. The key to using Chloraseptic was to put the spray nozzle as far back in your throat as possible to avoid getting any of it on your tongue. Sucrets lozenges were also pretty bad as I recall – when Cepacol came out it was a revelation – but they only tasted slightly better.

St. Joseph’s Aspirin for Children was supposed to taste good – but I wonder if any children were involved in the taste-testing of that product. A faint, orange-ish flavoring with more than just a passing taste of chalk – what kid could resist that?

There were a few stand-outs however: I do remember Dimetapp tasting very good – even when it was only available by prescription, almost like grape juice and there’s nothing wrong with that.

When my kids were little medicines like amoxicillin were flavored like bubble-gum and pain/fever reducers came in orange or “berry” flavors. Neither flavor ever helped me get them to take the medicine. It’s a wonder they survived.

But recently, I have seen the future of drug delivery and it all started with a bear – a gummy bear that is.

The use of gummies as a form of drug delivery is exploding. Just do a Google image search for “vitamin gummies” and you will see what I mean. Currently, it seems like gummies are most popular with vitamin and supplement makers – both for children and adults – and really what’s not to like about gummies? Gummies are fun, gummies taste good, gummies don’t look like medicine. Gummies are the perfect delivery mechanism for people who hate taking medicine.

I predict a lot of companies will eventually switch to gummies for their products. In a world where most people fill a prescription but don’t finish it – gummies will go a long way to increasing compliance and perhaps even bring down healthcare costs due to less return visits. Forget Obamacare – let’s all sign up for Gummycare!

But, in all seriousness – I see gummies as the next big thing in drug delivery. And that’s not hard to swallow.

Oh, and one more thing, speaking of gummies, I just had to leave this here. You have to wait until about the 2:50 mark but it’s worth it. A classic scene from a classic movie – and a gummy reference to boot!

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