Hard gelatin capsules are a modern dosage form for medicinal use, stemming from the increased emphasis on pharmacokinetics found in drug development today. This has considerably expanded the range of possible formulations utilising hard gelatin capsules as a simple dosage form for oral drug delivery. Nowadays, modern capsule-filling machines can produce up to 200,000 capsules an hour and are also capable of filling a number of different substances in a single process run.
These developments probably account for the fact that use of the hard gelatin capsule has grown steadily over the years. Between 1970 and 1975, capsules showed sales growth rates ranging from 8% to 21% in the four largest European markets.
And it is a continuing trend. The hard gelatin capsule is increasingly being chosen for new medicines in solid oral dosage form. In 1982, only 17.5% of newly-licensed products were presented as hard gelatin capsules. By 1996, the figure had already reached 34%. Submitted by Capsugel