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What Does a Capsule Do? – Empty Capsules

Did you know that the Capsule was one of the oldest form of medical dosage in the history of mankind? Yes, and it was used by the Egyptians. The earliest documented use of the capsule is in an account dated in 1730. It mentions a pharmacist de Pauli from Vienna. He produced an oval-shaped capsule in hopes of covering up the nasty taste of pure turpentine, which he prescribed for people suffering from gout. But today, Capsules have become a whole lot more than just a cover around the drug, so has the process of Capsule Manufacturing.

Capsules have often been regarded as the cheapest and most efficient method of medical intake due to the easily digestible shell and uncontaminated medicine. Most people might think making a capsule shell is an easy task, but surprisingly, it is not. In fact, there is a huge process that involves selection, extraction and shaping and various other steps that go into the process of capsule manufacturing. Coming to the types of capsules, they can be majorly divided into two. The first is the Hard Capsules, made mainly out of gelation from animal extracts. This type of capsule typically contains dry, powdered forms of medicine.

The Hard Gelatin capsule are made in two parts by dipping metal pins in the gelling agent solution. The capsules are supplied as closed units to the pharmaceutical manufacturer. Before use, the two halves are separated, the capsule is filled with powder or more normally pellets made by the process of Extrusion & Spheronization (either by placing a compressed slug of powder into one half of the capsule, or by filling one half of the capsule with loose powder) and the other half of the capsule is pressed on. The machinery required for this sort of capsule manufacturing is more capsule.

The Soft Gelatin Capsule on the other hand, the manufacturing is done by individual iron moulds for their process, filling the capsules individually with a medicine dropper. Later on, methods were developed that used sets of plates with pockets to form the capsules. Although some companies still use this method, the equipment is not produced commercially any more. All modern soft-gel encapsulation uses variations of a process developed by R. P. Scherer in 1933. His innovation was to use a rotary die to produce the capsules, with the filling taking place by blow molding. This method reduced wastage, and was the first process to yield capsules with highly repeatable dosage.

empty-capsule-infograph

Since their inception, capsules have been viewed by consumers as the most efficient method of taking medication. For this reason, producers of drugs such as OTC analgesics wanting to emphasize the strength of their product developed the “caplet” or “capsule-shaped tablet” in order to tie this positive association to more efficiently-produced tablet pills. The efficacy of the drug is found to be higher in capsule form for many drugs, but is often not used to use to the costs involved or allergies to Gelatin or Cellulose.

The Global Empty Capsules Market was worth $1357 million in 2016 and estimated to be growing at a CAGR of 7.5%, to reach $ 1948 million by 2021. The market is showcasing evident potential in the mentioned forecasting period. North America is the dominating market for Empty capsules accounting for a share of approximately 37% owing to rising consumer awareness and increase in the consumption of nutraceutical products. Asia-Pacific is estimated to be the fastest growing region due to increasing government support and increasing demand for nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals. Major market players like  Capsugel, Acg Worldwide, Suheung Co Ltd., Bright Pharmacaps Inc., Capscanada Corporation, Medi-Caps Ltd., Qualicaps, Roxlor, LLC, Snail Pharma Industry Co. and many others are increasing their investment in the R&D and Marketing sectors to capture the market that is assured to grow.

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