By Anne M. Roush, Business Development Director, Transdermal and Inhalation Technologies, 3M Drug Delivery Systems
In the face of a significant patent cliff, many companies in the pharmaceutical industry are seeking new ways to protect their brands as long as possible, and reformulation presents one of the most obvious ways to do this. Historically, these endeavors were undertaken on a reactionary basis, for example, when a drug product has enjoyed a successful run but is facing new competitive threats from generics. Contemporary product life-cycle management is more strategic, and employs a proactive approach to reformulation earlier in the product development cycle. In other cases, reformulation can be undertaken for product differentiation as a means to give patients and their caregivers more options, which better suit their needs.