Injectable Drug Delivery Trends

How Global Trends Are Driving Patient-Centricity in Parenteral Products.

Parenteral products represent a major growth engine in today’s surging global biopharma market. Their share of the global market figures to grow from 53% in 2020 ($606bn) to 57% in 2027 ($1,298bn)1, outpacing other routes of administration. On average, more than 40% of the medications approved by the FDA are injectable, with subcutaneous and intramuscular products making up a growing percentage of those approvals.2,3

As more and more injectables enter the global pipeline, these new assets are facing major shifts in market expectations and lifecycle success factors. In today’s market, it takes far more than a promising molecule and a validated therapeutic target for new products to gain traction. Differentiating user experience, patient-centric features, and other commercial success factors are now as critical as the drug substance and its mechanism of action—not to mention the injectable delivery system that will be used to administer that new treatment.

Four major trends are driving these shifts in the lifecycle roadmap for new injectables. Steps to address these forces are already a critical feature of a truly integrated, efficient, and resilient drug development and manufacturing processes.

“Patient-centricity will be critical to the next generation of injectable products. For many users, the delivery experience is will be as important as the drug.”  Peter Soelkner, Managing Director 

Four major market drivers for injectables

Chronic diseases

Conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s are growing rapidly in both global prevalence and economic impact. The sustained, intensive treatment these conditions require will increase demand for products optimized for patients with specific symptoms, side effects, and demographic profiles.

Development costs

Demand continues to grow for specialized, targeted, and precision treatments—as well as the complex processes and the small, technically specialized batches these products often require. As more sensitive, highly customized biologics enter the global pipeline, their biopharma owners are under growing pressure to optimize costs and shorten timelines wherever possible.


Remote care management has surged during the pandemic, while patients themselves are eager to stay home as much as possible. This increases the pressure on biopharma companies to not only launch new treatments faster and more efficiently than ever, but also enhance those new products with features that make self-administered treatments as safe, effective, and convenient as possible.

At-home care

There is now an accelerating shift from resource-intensive, clinic-based patient management to at-home, self-administered care. Empowering patients to manage their own care at home can lighten provider workloads, reduce demand for expensive clinical services, and make adherence more convenient for patients. Not surprisingly, many biopharma companies have begun to proactively target this valuable use case in their product development strategies.

Delivery innovations for changing demands

With these major trends in play, new injectables now need to hit the market with a full-lifecycle development plan to maximize production efficiency, enhance user convenience, and optimize patient-friendliness. One key to that ongoing evolution: a product’s packaging and delivery system. These components are a critical feature of any strategy to optimize injectable products for simplicity, convenience, and long-term ease-of-use.

Prefilled syringes

Prefilled syringes are a user-friendly option that makes it easy and safe to deliver each dose. This ready-to-inject format offers patients a simple, comfortable administration process with predefined volumes, which often results in improved compliance—a significant differentiating value.

Pens and autoinjectors

Convenient, compact, and easy to handle, these secondary packaging innovations can be a useful way to facilitate long-term self-administration, especially for patients whose condition may compromise their physical dexterity.


Numerous treatments that require a specific, uniform amount of medication can be delivered via innovative clip- and stick-on parenteral delivery systems. These convenient devices enable consistent dosing of large product volumes, while also fitting discreetly into a patient’s outfit and lifestyle.

Connected smart devices

A new generation of connected autoinjectors, infusion pumps, and other drug delivery technologies combine personalized dosing with data capture and reporting capabilities. These delivery systems simplify dosing and offer a new level of digital visibility and insight into each course of treatment.

Partners to support your success

While new delivery solutions can contribute significant value to a product’s market profile, they also add another dimension that’s equally important to consider and solve: production complexity. This is where the right strategic production partner can be more valuable than ever.

This partner is one who can provide multifaceted technical expertise, customized solutions, and market foresight—not just prior to and at launch, but across the product lifecycle. The path to success is evolving quickly for new injectables, and navigating the shifting lifecycle milestones can seem like a daunting process. Having the knowledgeable, experienced guide can make all the difference.


1 Global Data Sales Analytics, 24 June 2020
3 ibid


Author: Peter Soelkner

Author Img

Peter Soelkner has been a Managing Director of Vetter Pharma-Fertigung GmbH & Co. KG since June 2008. In 2009, he was also appointed Managing Director of Vetter Pharma International GmbH, the company's marketing and sales organization. Soelkner graduated from the University of Dortmund, Germany, in 1992 with a degree in chemical engineering and earned an MBA from Columbia University, New York, in 2001.

Before joining Vetter, he held positions in Germany and North America at Sartorius AG and Sartorius North America Inc., in R&D, marketing, key account management, and general management roles. At Vetter, from 2003 to 2007, Soelkner managed the company’s key account program and global end-to-end supply chain. He left the company for a year to serve as Vice President of global key account management at Sartorius Stedim Biotech (USA) before returning to Vetter in 2008.

Company: Vetter

Headquartered in Ravensburg, Germany, Vetter is a global leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with production facilities in Germany and the United States. Currently employing 5,500 individuals worldwide, the company has long-term experience in supporting biotechnology and pharmaceutical customers both large and small. Vetter services range from early stage development support including clinical manufacturing, to commercial supply and numerous packaging solutions for vials, syringes and cartridges. As a leading solution provider, Vetter appreciates its responsibility to support the needs of its customers by developing devices that contribute to increased patient safety, convenience, and enhanced compliance. Great importance is also given to social responsibility including environmental protection and sustainability. Learn more about Vetter at

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