The needle technology that is referred to as hypodermic needle was first used by ancient Romans and Greeks to inject cures into the body and prevent death via snakebites or poisoned weapons. Christopher Wren was the first documented scientist who performed the first intravenous injections using hypodermic needles in the late 17th century. As technology advanced and pharmaceutical industry reached a breakthrough, newer technologies were incorporated within this segment. The recent technology used is the development of needless injections. Needle free Injection technology (NFIT) is a very new concept that is being used to delivery specific type of drugs through the skin using scientific principles of shockwaves, pressure, Lorentz or electrophoresis which forces the drug into the skin thereby negating the use of a needle in an injection.
According to the study, ‘Needle Free Injections – Medical Devices Pipeline Assessment, 2018’, some major companies and organizations developing this technology are B. Braun Melsungen AG, Boston Scientific Corp, Crossject SA, Enable Injections Inc, Enesi Pharma Ltd, Eternity Healthcare Inc., Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc, Medical International Technologies (Mit Canada) Inc, PharmaJet Inc, Queen’s University, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
The basic principle behind NFIT is that a drug in a pre measured amount is loaded in cassettes which are then transmitted into the body via the skin by harnessing a strong amount of energy. The force can be generated either via electromagnetic devices or shockwaves or any other form of energy that is capable enough to impart motion to the medicine. There are various classifications for these needlefee devices. They are on the basis of working (Spring system, laser powered, energy propelled systems) or on the basis of type of load (liquid, powder or projective) or on the basis or site of delivery.
This technology can be used to administer local anesthesia, direct palmar BoNT-ONA and Intralesional corticosteroids to name a few. Recently clinical trials have revealed that intraject technology delivers reliable subcutaneous injections. Studies have also revealed that large and complex drugs are not modified when huge pressure is applied during the process of administration via needle free technology.
The prime advantage of this device is that it saves the patient from unnecessary pain and not only this but physical drug can also be administered via this technology. Although traditional hypodermic needles are cheap and quick to use however, the use of these needles often cause needle stick injury which leads to infections or injury to the skin which results in further expensive treatments. It is because of this reason many US states in 2015 came up with legislations requiring the use of needle free systems wherever it was available. A huge number of medicines are now being administered via injections rather than oral or any other mode. Each year the medical experts are devising techniques to shift from oral medication to direct mode. This could also prove to be a key driver for the needle free injection market.
Market forces have led to pharmaceutical companies to adopt newer technology in their devices which propagates the needle free injection market. The future of this sector seems promising as consumer preferences clearly show that needle less technology is the future.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications