Challenges and innovations of drug delivery in older age
15. September 2018
Both drug delivery performance and various age-related physical, mental and physiological changes can affect their effectiveness and safety in elderly patients. The many drug delivery systems developed over the years include recent novel transdermal, nasal, pulmonary and orally disintegrating tablet delivery systems that provide consistent, precise, timely and more targeted absorption. Certain drug delivery systems may be associated with suboptimal outcomes in the elderly because of the nature of drug present, a lack of appreciation of the impact of age-related changes in drug absorption, distribution and clearance on their pharmacokinetics, the limited availability of pharmacokinetic, safety and clinical data. Polypharmacy, patient morbidity and poor adherence can also contribute to sub-optimal drug delivery systems outcomes in older people. The development of drug delivery systems for the elderly is a poorly realised opportunity, with each system having specific advantages and limitations. A key challenge is to provide the innovation that best meets the specific physiological, psychological and multiple drug requirements of individual elderly patients.