Green GMP criteria would help responsible API firms compete with polluters says DSM Sinochem

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Investments make it tough to compete with polluters sas DSM-Sinochem
Investments make it tough to compete with polluters sas DSM-Sinochem

Related tags Sewage treatment Antibiotic resistance

API firms that invest in waste management find it hard to compete with those that pollute according to DSM Sinochem, which wants environmental criteria included in GMP standards for environmental and business reasons.

A report by SumOfUs​ suggested some third party active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) suppliers in India and China are furthering the spread of antibiotic resistant superbugs by failing to treat waste water following manufacturing.

The group accused some Western drugmakers that buy from such suppliers of putting costs before environmental impact when sourcing drug actives and suggested that including environmental criteria in good manufacturing practices (GMP) standards is the only way of addressing the situation.

This call was backed by DSM-Sinochem, a joint venture producer of antibiotic APIs whose spokesman Mansur Gharabaghi told us introducing such measures is the only way to prompt polluters to change their processes.

As long as these standards are not there, we regret that not all players in the antibiotic producing industry feel the need and urgency to change their standards and take their responsibility to mitigate their impact on AMR [antimicrobial resistance].”

Introduction of such standards would also level the playing field according to Gharabaghi.

As long as regulatory bodies don’t include environmental criteria in their standards, it makes it more challenging for companies like DSP to continuously keep investing in waste management related activities, as it basically brings down our competitive profile. Companies that don’t invest or employ certain activities also don’t need to cover those costs​” he said. 

DSM Sinochem own and operates its own water treatment plant at all of its manufacturing facilities, which is a very different approach to other India-based manufacturers that send waste to communal facilities Gharabaghi said.

Recent studies show, that wastewater treatment plants that receive effluent waste streams from several sources, can contribute in both in the emergence and spread of resistance. Antibiotic Resistant bacteria have been detected in high numbers in treatment plants.

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