04. tbl. 99. árg. 2013

Tablets and tablet production – With special reference to Icelandic conditions

Töflur og töflugerð – með sérstöku tilliti til íslenskra aðstæðna

Modern tablet compression was instituted in England in 1844 by William Brockedon (1787-1854). The first tablets made according to Brockedon´s procedures contained watersoluble salts and were most likely compressed without expedients. In USA a watershed occurred around 1887 when starch (amylum maydis) was introduced to disperse tablets in aqueous milieu in order to corroborate bioavailability of drugs in the almentary canal. About the same time great advances in tablet production were introduced by the British firm Burroughs Wellcome & Co. In Denmark on the other hand tablet production remained on low scale until after 1920. As Icelandic pharmacies and drug firms modelled themselves mostly upon Danish firms tablet production was first instituted in Iceland around 1930. The first tablet machines in Iceland were hand-driven. More efficent machines came after 1945. Around 1960 three sizeable tablet producers were in Iceland; now there is only one. Numbers of individual tablet species (generic and proprietary) on the market rose from less than 10 in 1913 to 500 in 1965, with wide variations in numbers in between. Tablets have not wiped out other medicinal forms for peroral use but  most  new peroral drugs have been marketed in the form of tablets during the last decades.

Skaftason JF1, Jóhannesson T2

1The Pharmacy Museum of Iceland at Nes, 170 Seltjarnarnes, 2The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical Faculty, University of Iceland, Hofsvallagata 53, 107 Reykjavík.

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