More drugs are being delivered by injection than ever before, fueled by a steady stream of biological products emerging from research pipelines. In 2017, nearly 38% of pipeline drugs were biologicals, reflecting the accelerating trend toward large-molecule products that cannot be delivered orally. For the first time, the industry’s small-to-large molecule seismic shift nudged the proportion of drugs in the development pipeline delivered by injection to 52%, narrowly establishing injection as the leading means of drug delivery in 2017.1 Other factors contributing to the increase of drug delivery by injection include the global rise in chronic diseases, the need for frequent dosing to control many such diseases, and a growing trend toward self-administration of medical treatments by patients.
A prime example is Type 2 diabetes, which has been deemed an epidemic by global public health bodies. A patient living with diabetes could need to self- administer insulin as many as 90 to 100 times per month in order to control the disease. Neither doctors nor patients could accommodate that volume of clinic visits, which is why diabetes patients have long self-administered their treatments at home. In addition to diabetes, other chronic illnesses requiring frequent self- administration of biological drugs include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and migraine.
It stands to reason that making self-injection as easy and safe as possible serves the interests of all stakeholders, from patients and biopharma companies to healthcare providers and payers. Efforts to do so are driving the selection and importance of auto-injectors—sophisticated single—and multi-use devices that enable patients to self-administer drugs safely, accurately, reliably and conveniently.
Auto-injectors are becoming biopharma companies’ delivery method of choice for commercial use and late-stage clinical trials. In addition, auto-injectors ensure that the prescribed dose of medication is delivered fully and completely, making it easier to track compliance in clinical trials. Read this whitepaper to learn about the benefits of auto-injectors.