, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 395-407
Date: 14 Jul 2012

Towards a Greener Pharmacy by More Eco Design

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Abstract

This review proposes an overview of the main trends explored by the pharmaceutical industry in order to develop a greener and smarter pharmacy minimizing any negative impact to the environment, and using more sustainable processes and drugs. If many drugs have their origin in nature, many active ingredients are “toxic by design”. Some trials were carried out to design “green pills”, or greener active ingredients “benign by design”, avoiding the environmental pollution risk. More efforts were developed to reduce fine chemicals production footprints, and to decrease their E-factor. Biotechnology, and the use of enzymes for some transformation reactions is another good way of progress. Advanced galenics allows to reduce drug footprints on environment, since it can deliver the right dose of drug at the right time and at the right place, decrease the drug doses, and lower the wastes. Use of continuous processes is a strong trend in the area of primary and secondary pharmaceutical production. It is linked to the quality by design concept and to the in-process control by process analytical technology tools. Added to their diversification strategy, and despite their lower research productivity, and that more and more patented blockbusters become or will become generics soon, it will help the pharmaceutical companies to continue their development. At the same time, these efforts toward a greener pharmacy, and a social education of patients, will contribute to the health organization economies and to preserve the future of our planet.