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“Development of Fixed Dose Combination Products” Workshop Report: Considerations of Gastrointestinal Physiology and Overall Development Strategy


The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is one of the most popular and used routes of drug product administration due to the convenience for better patient compliance and reduced costs to the patient compared to other routes. However, its complex nature poses a great challenge for formulation scientists when developing more complex dosage forms such as those combining two or more drugs. Fixed dose combination (FDC) products are two or more single active ingredients combined in a single dosage form. This formulation strategy represents a novel formulation which is as safe and effective compared to every mono-product separately. A complex drug product, to be dosed through a complex route, requires judicious considerations for formulation development. Additionally, it represents a challenge from a regulatory perspective at the time of demonstrating bioequivalence (BE) for generic versions of such drug products. This report gives the reader a summary of a 2-day short course that took place on the third and fourth of November at the Annual Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) meeting in 2018 at Washington, D.C. This manuscript will offer a comprehensive view of the most influential aspects of the GI physiology on the absorption of drugs and current techniques to help understand the fate of orally ingested drug products in the complex environment represented by the GI tract. Through case studies on FDC product development and regulatory issues, this manuscript will provide a great opportunity for readers to explore avenues for successfully developing FDC products and their generic versions.

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The authors received financial support from the Flemish Research Council (FWO – applicant number: 12R2119N).

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Correspondence to Bart Hens.

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Hens, B., Corsetti, M., Bermejo, M. et al. “Development of Fixed Dose Combination Products” Workshop Report: Considerations of Gastrointestinal Physiology and Overall Development Strategy. AAPS J 21, 75 (2019).

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  • bioequivalence
  • fixed dose combination drug products
  • formulation prediction
  • in vivo predictions
  • gastrointestinal physiology