The two leading healthcare trends are increased cost efficiency and self-care. Today the cost of medical care is considered along and maybe ahead of its efficacy. Any increase in the cost of medical care can no longer be passed on to the payors or patients. At the same time there is a strong and growing interest in the self-administration of drugs for chronic ailments, particularly among elderly or other patients who have difficulty: 1) traveling to healthcare providers for injections; and/or 2) maintaining consistent compliance. This trend is creating an increased demand for medical devices that are patient-friendly and cost-effective.
There is also a desire to improve methods of drug delivery for biopharmaceuticals, which represent the most rapidly growing portion of new therapeutics. These drugs today are most often given by injection, which is both painful and costly.
The skin offers a highly accessible, convenient, and very large surface area point-of-entry for therapies. Existing small molecule products have proven that transdermal drug delivery is a more patient-friendly and preferred method of administration compared to injection and offers the additional benefit of sustained release. Alternative delivery methods that require minimal patient interaction will be well positioned to take advantage of these trends and will evolve into a significant role in the future of pharmaceutical development and commercialization.