Pharmaceutical technology is one of the pharmaceutical sciences dealing with the composition, formulation, preparation or manufacturing and quality control of extemporaneously compounded or commercially manufactured drugs. The discipline primarily focuses on the conditions which enable the transformation of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and pharmaceutical excipients into medicines, also looks at the patterns which control these processes and the relationships of drug formulations and their effect when applied.
Pharmaceutical technology examines:
- Drugs as disperse systems composed of APIs and excipients, conditions for the coexistence of the components in a particular dosage form, the behaviour and properties of medicinal products, related to their composition and manufacturing process.
- Methods and devices for preparation of medicines and pharmaceuticals.
- Evaluation of the quality of medicines and drugs in particular, in terms of composition, technology, structure and quality.
- Pharmaceutical excipients.
- Relationships between the composition of drugs and their technology, bioavailability and effect when administered.
- Stability of drugs and the ways of improvement.
- Packaging materials, technology and drug adjustment.
Pharmaceutical technology has the following goals:
- Production (preparation) of high quality, safe drugs with required bioavailability and stability.
- The field of pharmaceutical technology involves the activities related with design, research, development, production and quality control of drugs. The most extensive part of the field is concerned with the manufacturing of APIs and excipients where pharmaceutical technology is transforming them into pharmaceuticals and their dosage forms.
Development and current trends
The main areas of research activities in pharmaceutical technology:
- research of new single and multiple dosage forms based on sustained release and targeted drug delivery in the biosystem,
- research of the mechanism of drug delivery through polymer membranes,
- the study of physical-chemical properties of dosage forms with incorporated drugs in relation to their delivery,
- enhancing bioavailability,
- monitoring the relationship of physical-chemical properties of the drugs and their release kinetics from dosage forms,
- the study of in-vitro/in-vivo correlation,
- monitoring the impact of the technology used in the quality and the stability of dosage forms including the development of new methodologies for the evaluation of the required quality parameters.