Tablet-making makeover a U.K. effort

Continuous processing, rather than batch, may be the future of tablet-making. A U.K. group is targeting efficiency gains in manufacturing to effect cost savings big enough to help U.K. companies compete against lower cost economies.

"The traditional tablet manufacturing process has evolved into one that is easy to regulate but very manual and therefore expensive," says Adrian Howson, pharmaceutical process head at technology management and product development consultancy Sagentia, part of an industry/academia consortium. The efficiency gains are aimed at improving manufacturing precision, productivity and mass yield.

The consortium work is funded by the government-supported Technology Strategy Board, a U.K. body that supports technological innovation in manufacturing. Consortium members include GlaxoSmithKline, GEA Pharma Systems Ltd., Siemens Industrial Automation, the University of Warwick, and Newcastle University.

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