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Adv Ther. 2000 Sep-Oct;17(5):213-21.

Softgels: consumer perceptions and market impact relative to other oral dosage forms.

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  • 1Banner Pharmacaps, Inc., 4125 Premier Drive, High Point, NC 27265, USA.


Softgels, which contain a liquid formulation of a drug, often provide clinical benefit over other solid oral dosage forms and may represent an attractive alternative to them. A consumer preference survey of softgels versus other solid forms investigated four areas: (1) identification of various dosage forms; (2) perception of therapeutic benefit (easiest to swallow, faster-acting, work longer); (3) impact of individual product characteristics on overall product selection; and (4) market impact in terms of premiums consumers would pay on the basis of dosage form. The 300 survey participants strongly preferred clear softgels over other dosage forms in virtually every area. Softgels were perceived as easy to swallow and fast-acting, with a duration of action second only to that of a two-piece capsule. Overall preference was driven by ease of swallowing, and softgels were rated first by the majority of respondents. Consumers would be interested in various products if these were available as softgels rather than in their current oral dosage forms and may be willing to pay a premium for softgel products. This survey confirms consumer preferences for particular dosage forms and for softgels over other solid forms. Pharmaceutical scientists and marketers should consider softgels as alternative dosage forms when developing new compounds or considering life-cycle management of existing products.

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