As the pharmaceutical industry moves away from mass production towards a more personalised model, 3D printing of drugs has the potential to revolutionise the industry. The Global 3D printed drugs market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.2 per cent from 2021-2027 to reach $2,064. “3D-printed drugs also cut down on the carbon footprint created from moving the supply chain around the world. Currently, a lot of active ingredients come from China, where they then would go to another country, like India, to be put in pill form. From there, it would then move somewhere else to get repackaged. 3D printing drugs have the power to eliminate these steps in the supply chain with the ability to manufacture the drugs where they’re actually being used,” said Susan L Lang, founder and CEO, XIL Health, USA, a leading strategic analytics and technology company in the drug economics space. “Bringing a new medicine to market is costly and time consuming. With a novel, disruptive technology like 3D printing for personalised medicine it is even harder as standard regulatory routes cannot be used. New regulation is currently being written by leading authorities for this field, once published the field will be able to advance more rapidly. An example of this is the point-of-care legislation being brought in by the MHRA, UK,” said Dr Anna Worsley, Director of Innovation, FabRx Ltd, UK. Since its inception in 2014, the startup has become one of the leaders in 3D printing drug manufacturing space. Spritam is 3D printed but in a mass manufactured scale and does not offer personalised dosage forms. “By putting a 3D printing centre close to major hospitals and distribution centres around the world, drugs can be manufactured on the spot and as needed. Over time, 3D printers will continue to get smaller, eliminating waste and bettering quality control. By shortening the supply chain, there will be less of a worry of contamination and fakes being introduced in the cycle,” said Susan. It’s a long way before personalised 3D printed products can become widely available.

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