Drug delivery systems are becoming progressively sophisticated as pharmaceutical researchers obtain a good understanding of the biochemical and physiological parameters pertinent to their performance. The drug delivery through oral route is the standard technique in the pharmaceutical industry as it is considered as the most economic, convenient, and safest route of drug administration. The oral tablets are usually taken with water only with an exclusion of orally disintegrating tablets and chewing tablets. The oral tablets are released into the gastrointestinal tract and they are quickly absorbed into the blood circulation. Orally disintegrating tablet is a solid dosage form that quickly disintegrates or dissolves in the mouth within one minute and does not require water for swallowing.
Orally disintegrating tablets are becoming a choice of alternative for conventional tablets or capsules. The first orally disintegrating tablet was approved in 1996. Orally disintegrating tablets are known by many names such as fast dissolving, orodispersible, mouth-dissolving, and quick disintegrating tablets. They are uncoated tablets and they dispersed fast and are quickly absorbed. These tablets are intended to break down quickly in the mouth and the active pharmaceutical ingredients are absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. They have been developed for various indications such as mental illness, migraine, and many other chronic medical conditions.
There are various methods available to develop orally disintegrating tablets such as tablet molding, freeze frying or lyophilization, spray drying, phase transition, mass-extrusion, cotton candy technology, direct compression method, and sublimation. The direct compression method is the most preferred method for manufacturing of orally disintegrating tablet as it provides adequate structural integrity and is cost effective in nature.
The global orally disintegrating tablet market is segmented on the basis of disease indication, distribution channel, and geography. On the basis of disease indication, the market is segmented into gastrointestinal diseases, central nervous system (CNS) diseases, oncology, and others. The CNS diseases segment is expected to gain high share of the market during the forecast period owing to increasing prevalence of CNS diseases such as depression, migraine, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia. Other than CNS diseases, the gastrointestinal diseases segment is expected to expand at a high CAGR during the forecast period. On the basis of distribution channel, the global market is segmented into hospital pharmacy, retail pharmacy, drug store, and online pharmacy.
Geographically, the global market for orally disintegrating tablet is distributed over North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to register a high market share during the forecast period owing to increasing acceptance for technologically advanced products as well as rising prevalence of CNS diseases. Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa are expected to expand at high CAGRs during the forecast period owing to low cost of orally disintegrating tablets and rise in awareness about various dosage form of tablet.
Tablets and capsules have certain limitations such as bitter taste, swallowing discomfort, and large size, especially for geriatric patients and children. These limitations of tablets and capsules are major driving factors for the orally disintegrating tablet market. In addition, rise in adoption of compliant dosage form and better taste have significantly increased the demand for orally disintegrating tablets, which is expected to drive the market growth during the forecast period.
However, there are hurdles in formulation of relatively high dose for orally disintegrating tablets. The difficulty level is high for the formulation of an orally disintegrating tablet with dose of 500 mg. Thus, the dose of a tablet is limited to 400 mg or less.
Key players operating in the global orally disintegrating tablet market include Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Johnson & Johnson Services, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Johnson & Johnson Private Limited, Mission Pharmacal Company, and Sciele Pharma among others.