The department asked Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA), Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) and Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) to urge their members to check effluents for antibiotic waste since it is causing Anti Microbial Resistance (AMR) in India through a letter dated on 11 October. AMR refers to the condition when microbes like bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites – no longer respond to the drugs designed to kill them. 

The letter stated that India could bear a ‘huge environmental load due to pharmaceutical pollution’ in the future as it, along with China, produces 80-90% of medicines for the world. To keep a check, The Central Pollution Control Board has set up an expert committee to draft standards for antibiotic residue in industrial effluents and the draft is almost finalized. “It is encouraging that the government is looking at pollution and quality of manufacturing…our member companies are all adhering to the guidelines around pollution,” OPPI director general Kanchana T.K. said.

IDMA secretary general Daara B. Patel and IPA secretary general Sudarshan Jain said the associations have told their members about the letter and have asked them to be more vigilant. It is very important to be aware about how pharmaceutical waste leads to AMR and thus a proper manufacturing system should be formed to eliminate this waste securely.