By Leonardo R. Allain Brittany C. Pierce, W. Peter Wuelfing, Allen C. Templeton, Roy Helmy

Published in: J Pharm Sci.

Published on: October 10, 2018

Abstract: This article describes how the increased use of energy-efficient solid-state light sources (e.g., light-emitting diode [LED]-based illumination) in hospitals, pharmacies, and at home can help alleviate concerns of photodegradation for pharmaceuticals. LED light sources, unlike fluorescent ones, do not have spurious spectral contributions <400 nm. Because photostability is primarily evaluated in the International Council of Harmonization Q1B tests with older fluorescent bulb standards (International Organization for Standardization 10977), the amount of photodegradation observed can over-predict what happens in reality, as products are increasingly being stored and used in environments fitted with LED bulbs. Because photodegradation is premised on light absorption by a compound of interest (or a photosensitizer), one can use the overlap between the spectral distribution of a light source and the absorption spectra of a given compound to estimate if photodegradation is a possibility. Based on the absorption spectra of a sample of 150 pharmaceutical compounds in development, only 15% would meet the required overlap to be a candidate to undergo direct photodegradation in the presence of LED lights, against a baseline of 55% of compounds that would, when considering regular fluorescent lights. Biological drug products such as peptides and monoclonal antibodies are also expected to benefit from the use of more efficient solid-state lighting.

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