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Oral Solid Dosage Forms and Why They Dominate the Market

​Oral solid dosage forms, particularly tablets and capsules, continue to be the most popular drug form used globally even while industry investments, interest, and demand for biologics and biosimilars are growing rapidly.

After networking with senior individuals in the industry and doing my own market research, there are three key questions that tend to come up.

Why do oral solids dominate the market?

Oral solids/dosage forms are not the most exciting or newest technology, but I would compare them to a Volkswagen in terms of a motor vehicle; they are proven cost effective and reliable. They are also easy to manufacture, easy to take and likely to ensure patient compliance compared to liquids or sprays.

Tablets or capsules?

When you compare the two, tablets or capsules, there will clearly be an advantage for one or the other depending on what needs you have. If you are looking to mix two substances that are incompatible, capsules will be the preferred choice however, if stability is a concern, you will most likely get better results from a tablet.

It is interesting to see the different market trends between both the US and Europe. Traditionally, capsules have been preferred in Europe, whereas tablets are the preferred choice in the US. The advantage of having capsules is that they are cheaper to manufacture, use less ingredients and taste much better. Whereas the advantage of having tablets is that the raw materials are often much cheaper.

What is the future for oral solids?

The future is looking positive in terms of dosage forms. It is estimated that tablets will continue to remain the preferred choice in the market, with sales estimated to climb past the $500 billion mark by 2027 which is an increase year on year

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