Drug developers are increasingly choosing transdermal delivery for their pain-management drugs because the method has the potential to improve drug compliance among patients, according to a medical market forecast from Applied Data Research (Nashua, NH). The report focuses on factors that are transforming transdermal therapeutics from a niche market into a mainstream healthcare technology. In addition to improving drug therapy compliance, the report suggests that emerging transdermal drug products could improve patient quality of life because of their user-friendliness. To successfully address this market segment, however, it says transdermal drug developers and their supply-chain partners need to focus on understanding the concerns, preferences, and limitations of targeted patient groups regarding self-medication and traditional pain-medication methods. The report also indicates that the transdermal market has been hindered by recent problems related to patch manufacturing quality. Costly product recalls have interrupted the market momentum, it says. In a separate report on active transdermal drug delivery, the organization assesses that the growth of transdermal delivery also has been restricted by the need to limit candidate drugs to molecules small enough to pass through the outermost layer of the epidermis. This limitation excludes passive transdermal patches as a viable option for the growing number of protein and peptide terapeutic compounds that represent an increasing share of future new chemical entities, according to the report. To expand the molecular size limits and capabilities of transdermal drug delivery, developers are employing such energy sources as ultrasound, heat, and electrical current to affect active transport through the skin. Another approach being researched is the modification or removal of surface skin layers. Known as microporation, this method can be used alone or in conjunction with energy-enabled devices to expand the size and type of drug molecules capable of transdermal delivery. The research firm based its market analyses on the results of surveys of the pain-management drug-delivery sector of the medical device and healthcare industries.