3D printing has the potential to not only revolutionise core business segments like manufacturing and construction, but also the pharmaceutical industry. From pharmaceutical manufacturing to personalised dosage forms and drug delivery systems, there are several applications of this technology in the sector.
It has led to a major shift with a change visible from conventional medicine mass production towards personalised drug products for each individual. The concept has future potential with regard to enabling advantages for the industry, patients, and pharmacists, through offering on-demand production and design of flexible medicine formulations, complete with personalised sizes, shapes, dosages, drug releases, and combinations of multiple drugs.
At the same time, 3D printing may be integrated into applications like precision medicine and additive manufacturing with the technology enabling the creation of medicines personalised for therapeutic needs of patients, including drug combinations, dosage, and drug release profiles along with personal requirements in terms of the flavour, texture, shape, and size. 3D printing also ensures multiple advantages for not just the pharmaceutical industry and clinical practices, while also helping lower overall costs and speeding up development cycles alongside.
3D printing has several avatars in terms of its usage in the pharmaceutical manufacturing space. These include the following:
Some methods of printing include SLS (selective laser sintering), FDM (fused deposition modelling), BJ (binder jet), DPE (direct powder extrusion), and SSE (semi-solid extrusion). Every type of technology has its own specific technical attributes while enabling the production of personalised drugs with diverse attributes.
Here are some of the biggest advantages of 3D printing in the pharmaceutical manufacturing space, right from drug delivery systems to personalised dosage forms.
Down the line, 3D printing may be a veritable game-changer for the pharmaceutical industry, enabling personalisation and formulations, along with efficient drug delivery as well, while simultaneously lowering go-to-market timelines, costs, and many other hassles involved in the process for pharmaceutical companies.
What is 3D printing and how does it work in the pharmaceutical industry?
3D printing or additive manufacturing is the procedure of creating three-dimensional solid items from digital files. It works through the manufacturing of specific, multi-drug, and personalised formulations in the pharmaceutical industry.
How can 3D printing be used to create personalised dosage forms and drug delivery systems?
3D printing can be leveraged for the creation of personalised forms of dosages and drug delivery systems, through either multi-drug combinations or formulations, or on-demand dosages with differentiated flavors, textures, sizes, and shapes.
How does 3D printing impact the speed and efficiency of pharmaceutical manufacturing?
3D printing, especially on-site, lowers the time taken by pharmaceutical manufacturing entities to produce on-demand drugs. It also reduces the time between discovery and marketing of formulations by a great extent. The entire procedure becomes more efficient with lower labour, costs, and higher efficiency with minimal logistics.
What are the regulatory considerations for 3D printed pharmaceuticals?
The medical products made by 3D printers are regulated by the FDA. The regulatory review that is needed depends on the type of product that is being manufactured, along with its intended usage, and the potential risk factors for patients.