Myths and truths about transdermal patches

Mailen Agüero – Business Development Analyst


With the large amount of information found on the internet, it is often difficult for us to differentiate truth from myth or lie. That is why in this article we collect some claims of transdermal patches and if they are true or false.

MYTH: With the right investment, anyone can develop patches. 

Formulating a stable adhesive composition that releases the active ingredient constantly to obtain a useful permeation of the same is the great hurdle to overcome. In addition, the production process of a transdermal patch requires very precise adjustments and calibrations (roll tension, speed, temperatures, etc.) on which experience plays a fundamental role. Therefore, when facing this type of project, it is key to have the support of niche experts such as Amarin.

TRUTH: The patches have a larger target population than other pharmaceutical forms. 

With the same drug and the same therapeutic action, the patch broadens the target population, since it can be administered to a patient who is asleep, or unable to receive oral medication.

MYTH: It is less profitable to develop a transdermal patch than a pill.

Developing a transdermal patch is indeed more expensive; however, with much less competition in the industry and being products that are sold at a higher price than other pharmaceutical forms (eg. a tablet), the ROI can be higher and even recover the investment before other alternatives.

TRUTH: The patches improve patient compliance with a treatment

The patch ensures a better administration of drugs to the patient, since it releases the drug uniformly and for an extended period of time (from 1 to 7 days) providing stable plasma levels. Thus, therapeutic compliance is improved and it is not dependent on the patient remembering multiple administrations as it happens with other pharmaceutical forms (pills, suspensions, etc.).

MYTH: Transdermal patches are difficult to apply or come off easily

It is easy to apply a patch. The process consists of two simple steps: 

  1. Remove the release liner (film on the adhesive)
  2. Apply the patch to the skin, maintaining pressure for a few seconds.

The patches contain pressure sensitive adhesives specifically developed for the industry that ensure proper adhesion during the treatment period

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