Personalized Medicine - Potential Applications (note That These May Overlap) - Customized Drug Products (in General)

Customized Drug Products (in General)

In general, physicians have wide discretion to prescribe customized drug products containing one or more drug substances in particular respective doses, and/or specific excipients or formulations for such products, specifically for individual patients. These prescriptions can then be custom-produced in a compounding pharmacy. In addition to such customized drug products themselves being a form of personalized medicine (a form that, ironically, was more common before most drugs began being mass-produced; although as noted below new tools and technologies are rekindling this aspect of PM), there can also now be a pharmacogenomic aspect to this traditional practice (to the extent a given patient's genomics might be a factor in informing such as prescription, along with other individualized considerations such as weight, age, condition severity, etc.).

For oral (ingested) dosage forms, some kinds or compositions of pills or polypills are more amenable to custom-compounding than others, and most retail pharmacies no longer offer compounding services (although hospital pharmacies still commonly compound intravenous medications). But while fewer pharmacists are trained and experienced in the relevant skills anymore, such compounding pharmacies nevertheless can be found and utilized via mail-order (if not available locally) with sufficient notice and planning. Generally, if a customized drug product is produced for a specific patient in response to a prescription specifying said patient's drug(s)/dosage(s), it is not subject to regulatory approval (e.g., FDA in the US) but is instead regulated under the practice of pharmacy (governed at the state-level in the US).

Technologies are under development to facilitate production of customized polypills, such as for example by the use of ink-jet printing mechanisms to precisely deposit selected drug substance(s) onto sheets which can then be inserted into capsules (enabling "individualized dosing and automated fabrication of medicines containing multiple drugs," in addition to custom single-drug products). Similar technology can also be used to print tablets, more directly. Ink-jet or fluid-jet approaches do require each drug substance to be dissolved in a liquid solvent, but they can be particularly conducive to custom formulation with various possible excipients (in addition to custom drug/dose selections).

Read more about this topic:  Personalized Medicine, Potential Applications (note That These May Overlap)

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