Sun steps up promotion of alternative-formulation products

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has created a U.S. website for its long-term care (LTC) division. The site pulls together products aimed at the 40% of American adults estimated to have trouble swallowing tablets and capsules. 

In recent years, Sun has received FDA approvals for a clutch of products intended to eliminate the need to crush tablets to administer certain medications to residents of LTC facilities. Sun introduced an extended-release sprinkle formulation of metoprolol succinate in 2018. The following year, Sun began selling two other sprinkle formulations containing rosuvastatin and duloxetine.

The launches gave Sun a portfolio of products designed to address some of the disorders that affect residents of LTC facilities such as depression and hypertension. Now, Sun has brought those products together for a marketing push, as Mark Hagler, head of ophthalmics, oncology and LTC at Sun, said. 

"Through this website, Sun Pharma aims to call attention to the broad need for our three alternative sprinkle formulations of widely prescribed medications, which are designed for those who cannot or will not swallow solid medication forms,” Hagler said in a statement. “These products are also being prescribed outside of LTC facilities, suggesting a broader need for alternative administration options of commonly used therapies that cannot be crushed.” 

The Sun products can be opened and sprinkled over soft food or administered via a nasogastric tube. Either way, LTC facility staff can administer the medications without pill crushing. Immediate-release tablets can typically be crushed without changing their effects, but Sun sees benefits in freeing LTC staff on that task. 

Extended-release formulations of metoprolol are among the products that should not be crushed. Cymbalta, which contains the active ingredient duloxetine, is also on the do not crush list, although as a capsule its contents can be added to apple juice or applesauce.