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The importance of sensory in topical pharmaceutical products


Solutions Corp (Adaptive Cosmetic Technology Solutions), Kirkwood, Delaware 19708 USA


Modern topical pharmaceutical products must have appealing aesthetics to go along with efficacy to compete in a competitive marketplace. If patient compliance is low because of poor sensory properties for the particular application, the product will not perform as expected. As opposed to common wisdom, changing the emulsifier will have a greater effect on product sensory aspects than altering the emollient components of a topical formulation. Creating a range of emulsions, varying the emulsifier, is the best way for a formulator to find the proper aesthetic match for a particular application, whether it be a topical pharmaceutical, OTC, or commercial skin care product.


Topical skin care drugs can be seen as highly technical products. The patient has a skin condition that needs to be addressed. The dermatologist prescribes a product to treat the malady. The prescription is filled and the patient brings the product home. As the product is applied to the affected area, disappointment can ensue. The disappointment is not for lack of performance, but because the aesthetics are not pleasing, or not suited for the application. The patient may continue on with the treatment, but may find that prescribed intervals of treatment may be missed because the product is unpleasant. When results are expected to be seen, they may not be realized. This is not because the product did not work, or that the wrong product was prescribed, but that patient compliance was not what it needed to be.
The patient is likely to go back to the physician and complain that the product prescribed did not work. Confidence in the medical professional is likely to go down. Likely, another product will be prescribed, and the process will continue. The physician will then go back to the company and the pe ...