Rate-controlled drug delivery and the reduction of risk
There are several drugs which would not be on the market today were it not for their associated delivery systems. An old, but very good, example is the inhalation anaesthetic halothane. To use it safely requires a special vaporizer which enables the anaesthetist to ‘dial’ a fixed concentration of the agent in the patient’s inspired air. This delivery system not only makes halothane simpler to use than other agents, but also gives it a safety margin which it would not have if given by the open-drop inhalation method (which worked quite well for ether). Also, the halothane vaporizer has been used very artfully in promotion to persuade anaesthetists to use the new product. Today, 25 years after its introduction, halothane dominates the inhalation anaesthetic market in all technologically advanced countries, and the vaporizer has become an integral part of contemporary anaesthetic practice.
KeywordsHalothane Dial Thalidomide Nitroglycerin
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