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9 Mar 2013

Polymer Additives could Aid Effectiveness of Oral Drugs

Scientists have uncovered a polymer additive that could increase the effectiveness of orally administered drugs.

Polymer chemists from Virginia Tech and pharmaceutical scientists at Purdue University have developed a new additive that could help medicine administered orally to reach the bloodstream faster.

Oral medicine is a popular way for people to receive treatment as it is relatively inexpensive in comparison to others and puts patients through less trauma than some, such as needles, may. The disadvantage is that these sometimes pass through the body without reaching the intended organ.

Polymers are often used to ensure the effectiveness of drugs, but individual strains need to be formulated for each treatment. The researchers tried to create polymers that can be used across treatments.

Professor Kevin Edgar, a leader of the study, said: "No polymers work in every drug formulation, but these are some of the most broadly effective bioavailability enhancement polymers we’ve seen."

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