Background: Liquid chromatography is the workhorse of analytical laboratories of pharmaceutical
companies for analysis of bulk drug materials, intermediates, drug products, impurities and
degradation products. This efficient technique is impeded by its long and tedious analysis procedures.
Continuous efforts of scientists to reduce the analysis time resulted in the development of three different
approaches namely, HTLC, chromatography using monolithic columns and UHPLC.
Methods: Modern column technology and advances in chromatographic stationary phase including
silica-based monolithic columns and reduction in particle and column size (UHPLC) have not only
revolutionized the separation power of chromatographic analysis but also have remarkably reduced the
analysis time. Automated ultra high-performance chromatographic systems equipped with state-ofthe-
art software and detection systems have now spawned a new field of analysis, termed as Fast Liquid
Chromatography (FLC). The chromatographic approaches that can be included in FLC are hightemperature
liquid chromatography, chromatography using monolithic column, and ultrahigh performance
Results: This review summarizes the progress of FLC in pharmaceutical analysis during the period
from year 2008 to 2017 focusing on detecting pharmaceutical drugs in various matrices, characterizing
active compounds of natural products, and drug metabolites. High temperature, change in the mobile
phase, use of monolithic columns, new non-porous, semi-porous and fully porous reduced particle size
of/less than 3μm packed columns technology with high-pressure pumps have been extensively studied
and successively applied to real samples. These factors revolutionized the fast high-performance separations.
Conclusion: Taking into account the recent development in fast liquid chromatography approaches,
future trends can be clearly predicated. UHPLC must be the most popular approach followed by the
use of monolithic columns. Use of high temperatures during analysis is not a feasible approach especially
for pharmaceutical analysis due to thermosensitive nature of analytes.