Life cycle impacts and environmental fate of pharmaceuticals: Examining the life cycle

Secondary manufacturing

The manufacture of APIs and its raw materials contribute ~50% of the carbon footprint of a pharmaceutical. API manufacture also contributes to around half of a pharmaceutical’s environmental impact when considering acidification, photo-oxidant formation and eutrophication. There are therefore many opportunities both in API synthesis and secondary production to lower the overall life cycle impact of pharmaceutical products at point of use.

In secondary manufacturing, a range of technologies can be employed to reduce environmental impact including: predictive science; new formulations; new packaging; new analytical methodology; more robust processes and flexible batch/continuous processing, all of which can provide the following environmental benefits:

  • Reduced waste;
  • Reduced energy consumption;
  • Reduced emissions during development or production/from patient use
  • Improved recycling;
  • Sustainability;
  • Lower solvent usage.

Note: The information on a pharmaceutical's impact on acidification, photo-oxidant formation and eutrophication has been compiled as part of the CHEM21 project from confidential partner data.