Tablets & Capsules


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38 September 2020 Tablets & Capsules capsules Jonathan Gilinski CapsCanada Gelatin supply disruptions threaten US pharmaceutical manufacturers T This article describes how COVID-19 and other factors have led to increased risk of interruptions to the US pharmaceutical supply chain and discusses how sourcing ingredients more locally can benefit manufacturers and US consumers. he US is a top spender on healthcare, but many of the drug products that Americans use are produced overseas. Both APIs and other materials, such as capsules, are often sourced from other countries and continents. Gelatin is a key ingredient in pharmaceutical manufac- turing and is used to make both hard and soft capsules. Gelatin is made from collagen derived from the con- nective tissues and bones of beef and/or pork. Capsule suppliers also use plant-derived formulations to provide hard-capsule options to vegetarian and vegan consumers, but the industry generally prefers to use gelatin because of its low cost. Recently, drug manufacturers have experienced cap- sule shortages due to the impact of the COVID-19 pan- demic on pharmaceutical supply chains. Gelatin supply disruptions have shed light on how the industry's reli- ance on Asian and European suppliers may jeopardize the stability of pharmaceutical manufacturing. Cultivat- ing alternate suppliers now and switching to manufactur- ers on the American continent can help prevent future manufacturing issues.

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