A Brief History of Transdermals

Far from a recent discovery, the use of the skin as a platform for delivery of compounds into the body has been around for thousands of years.

Ancient African populations applied henna and tigernut to their skin some 3500 years ago, and both Greeks and Chinese applied creams and herbs to the skin for localized treatments, often held onto the skin with gum in what could be described as the first transdermal patch.

Although not always believed as a real remedy, upon entering the 20th century some accidental spillages onto the skin gave significant insights into the understanding of topical and transdermal drug delivery systems. As a result, in the 1950s, the first transdermal product in the form of an ointment was released.

Throughout the 90’s the advances were nearly all focussed on contraceptive uses, and great strides were made in understanding the absorption of APIs into the skin, so much so that in the following decade many types of drugs were transformed into patch delivery, and by 2019 products for schizophrenia amongst others were approved by the FDA.

With a portfolio containing patches for treatments ranging from Alzheimer's to Diabetes reflecting the huge strides made in recent years, Greene Street Pharma continues to make history happen.