Prediction of solubility and permeability class membership: Provisional BCS classification of the world's top oral drugs

Arik Dahan, Jonathan M. Miller, Gordon L. Amidon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

327 Scopus citations


The Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) categorizes drugs into one of four biopharmaceutical classes according to their water solubility and membrane permeability characteristics and broadly allows the prediction of the rate-limiting step in the intestinal absorption process following oral administration. Since its introduction in 1995, the BCS has generated remarkable impact on the global pharmaceutical sciences arena, in drug discovery, development, and regulation, and extensive validation/discussion/extension of the BCS is continuously published in the literature. The BCS has been effectively implanted by drug regulatory agencies around the world in setting bioavailability/bioequivalence standards for immediate-release (IR) oral drug product approval. In this review, we describe the BCS scientific framework and impact on regulatory practice of oral drug products and review the provisional BCS classification of the top drugs on the global market. The Biopharmaceutical Drug Disposition Classification System and its association with the BCS are discussed as well. One notable finding of the provisional BCS classification is that the clinical performance of the majority of approved IR oral drug products essential for human health can be assured with an in vitro dissolution test, rather than empirical in vivo human studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-746
Number of pages7
JournalAAPS Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • BA/BE
  • Biopharmaceutics classification system
  • Biowaiver
  • Intestinal absorption
  • Molecular biopharmaceutics
  • Oral drug product

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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