Cultural factors also have to be taken into account, even if a company cannot produce the same medicinal products with different tastes according to country preferences.
Gauthier and Cardot, J Pers Med. 2011; 1: 5

“One’s home is one’s castle,” goes the saying. One’s home, or at least one’s country of origin, can also be an influence. The countries in which people grow up can affect everything from what they prefer to eat to how they prefer to take their medicines. Drug formulation preferences vary by country, but drug formulation dislikes are often the same.

The Spiegel Institut Mannheim conducted a study of 2000 patients in Germany and the United States. The researchers compared drug formulation preferences between the two countries and found that German patients preferred throat lozenges, followed by orally disintegrating granules (ODGs). Germany is also the largest consumer of Fishermen’s Friend throat lozenges, according to a 2011 article in the Daily Mail.

Unlike German patients, patients in the United States are not as familiar with throat lozenges and ODGs. Only 16% of U.S. patients had ever taken ODGs, and 52% had never even heard of them, according to the Spiegel Institut Mannheim study. Instead, patients in the U.S. preferred instant drinks because they were easy to prepare and swallow. However, this trend may be changing. A recent partnership between Pfizer and the Institute for Pediatric Innovation is challenging innovators to develop devices that would enable the delivery of titratable multiparticulate dosage forms, offering key insight as to where at least one big pharma company sees this market going.

IPI CEO and Founder Donald Lombardi stated in the news release, “IPI is excited to work with Pfizer to support the creation of a device that can impact pediatric health on a global scale. The drug delivery device will address a real need in getting medicines to children in a way that’s adapted to their needs.”

Although preferences in drug formulations vary by country, most patients agree that palatability is important, as well, in their drug products. Orbis Biosciences uses its Precision Particle FabricationTM technology to develop palatable solid and liquid controlled-release drug formulations that are appropriate for patients of all ages and nationalities. A home might not feel like a castle, but a patient is sure to feel like royalty after feeling better due to palatable medication.