• drug delivery systems;
  • gastroretentive delivery systems;
  • implants;
  • osmotic pumps;
  • patient compliance;
  • transdermal drug delivery

Abstract. Urquhart J (Department of Epidemiology, Pharmaco-epidemiology Group, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands). Controlled drug delivery: therapeutic and pharmacological aspects (Internal Medicine in the 21st Century). J Intern Med 2000; 248: 357–376.

Concerted work to develop human pharmaceuticals based on rate-controlled drug delivery systems began in 1970. Today there are over three dozen such products, plus a few for veterinary use. In addition, osmotic minipumps have been extensively used since 1978, resulting in over 6000 publications in the pharmacological, endocrinological and physiological literature. Rate-controlled delivery provides for drug entry into the bloodstream continuously at either a constant or a modulated rate. By this means, one avoids the usual peak and trough pattern of drug concentrations in plasma, with its echoing peak and trough pattern of drug actions, during the interval between successive doses. In contrast to the happenstance release kinetics of rapid-release dosage forms, rate-controlled delivery systems can be designed to provide specific temporal patterns of drug concentration in plasma, for the purpose of optimizing the selectivity of drug action, the interval between successive administerings of drug and the likelihood that the next administering will occur at the proper time.