Mumbai: Oral drug strips soon to be launched for bedridden patients

Mumbai: In a bid to provide relief to bedridden patient from gulping down several medicines on a daily basis, a Nashik-based pharmaceutical company has procured a first-of-its-kind multi-layer oral thin films (OTF) or drug strips that melt when kept on the tongue. A senior health official said this drug delivery method has already received approval from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and will be available at a similar price as the tables. They would first start manufacturing medicines for asthma and allergy on a trial basis.

The officials said most OTFs are extremely expensive due to which common people can’t afford them. These films are useful for patients suffering cancer, asthma, cardiac ailments.  “We decided to work on developing multi-layer oral films after getting a good response from patients on the one-layer oral films. Later, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) approved the product which would soon be released in the market,” said Dr Anwar Daud, managing director, Zim Laboratories limited.

Multi-layer OTF is fused with two or more oral thin films which contain different medicines in their proper dose which needs to be taken together and are equivalent of fixed-dose combinations in tablets and capsules form. “The technology is suitable for the delivery of drugs through the normal GI tract after disintegrating or dissolving in the mouth or even get absorb directly into the blood through the sublingual and buccal route, showing improved bioavailability by avoiding the first-pass metabolism,” said Someshwar M Mudda, a pharma expert.

This would help patients to take two medicines at a time that has already got approval from FDA. As per pharma association, in India, currently, there is no in-house pharma company that manufacturer this multi-layer so they have import it from the USA at a higher price.

“Currently, there is no multi-layer OTF that has been manufactured by an India-based company. We have to import it from the USA which are extremely expensive. If this company has manufactured it then it would prove as a boon for many patients,” said Damji Palan, president of Retail and Dispensing Chemists Association (RDCA).

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