As a socially responsible industry, we have a responsibility to preserve the environment, minimize pollution and our ecological footprint. Environmental protection and preservation has become one of the most important concerns across the world, covering all sectors. There is a growing realization and awareness to adopt processes that minimize the damage to the environment.
In Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare, it needs to cover the operations from environmentally friendly manufacturing to the safe disposal of effluents and atmospheric discharge. Post their use, products and biomedical waste must be disposed off safely and in a manner that does not vitiate the atmosphere, degrade the environment or spread contagion.
Environment protection in today’s context assumes great significance and in our industry is highly specialized. The expert members of our environmental committee will play a mentor role to beef up Industry standards and protocols in this regard.
Rampant use of antibiotics has systematically eroded their effectiveness by causing the microbes to mutate and become drug-resistant. At the same time, because of their over-use very few drugs retain their previous effectiveness. This leaves behind a depleted arsenal of effective antibiotics. Thus Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has emerged as an increasingly worrisome challenge globally and has led to increased morbidity, and mortality besides rising health care costs.
In India, it is an important public health issue that needs prioritization as it has a socio-economic impact. It is estimated that 50% or more of hospital antimicrobial use is inappropriate and unwarranted. Hence, there is a need for increased education and awareness about antimicrobial resistance among the public and healthcare professionals.
Effluents from Indian pharmaceutical factories are known to contain high levels of antibiotics, contributing to the growth and spread of multi-drug resistant (MDR) strains. To combat this, India’s Supreme Court has ordered the country’s pharmaceutical companies to operate with a “zero liquid discharge” policy. India could well become one of the first countries to set standards for antibiotic residue released by the pharmaceutical industry. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was tasked with framing the standards that await approval by the environment ministry.
Recent hospital and community-based data also reveals a marked increase in the burden of antimicrobial resistance because of over-prescription, easy availability and irresponsible over-use by patients without consulting a doctor. Since AMR has huge implications for India there is a need to have in place a comprehensive AMR National Action Plan in line with the Global AMR action plan.