International Journal of Pharmaceutics - Practical and operational considerations related to paediatric oral drug formulation: An industry survey

'Practical and operational considerations related to paediatric oral drug formulation: An industry survey'

Publication Abstract: 

For over 15 years, US and EU regulations ensure that medicines developed for children are explicitly authorised for such use with age-appropriate forms and formulations, implying dedicated research.

To shed light on how these regulations have been adopted by pharmaceutical companies and how various aspects of paediatric oral drug formulation development are currently handled, an exploratory survey was conducted. Topics included: general company policy, regulatory aspects, dosage form selection, in-vitro, in-silico and (non-)clinical in-vivo methods, and food effects assessment. The survey results clearly underline the positive impact of the paediatric regulations and their overall uptake across the pharmaceutical industry.

Even though significant improvements have been made in paediatric product development, major challenges remain. In this respect, dosage form selection faces a discrepancy between the youngest age groups (liquid products preference) and older subpopulations (adult formulation preference). Additionally, concerted research is needed in the development and validation of in-vitro tools and physiology based pharmacokinetic models tailored to the paediatric population, and in estimating the effect of non-standard and paediatric relevant foods.

The current momentum in paediatric drug development and research should allow for an evolution in standardised methodology and guidance to develop paediatric formulations, which would benefit pharmaceutical industry and regulators.

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