Pharmaceutical pollution across the world

According to the global consumer watchdog SumOfUs.org, the improper disposal of pharmaceutical waste by polluting factories in China, and their links with some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, is creating a looming public health disaster. These polluting Chinese factories supply some of the world’s best known pharmaceutical brands including Pfizer and some of the biggest generic drug manufacturers (McKesson, Teva) are also sourcing products from factories violating environmental and safety standards.

The report’s findings are based on customs data, import licenses, databases and company financial and legal documents, reports from regulatory bodies in several countries and first-hand evidence obtained from an undercover investigation in China. They reveal a ‘complex and murky’ web of commercial relationships between Chinese producers, Indian middlemen, and trusted global brands. The need to clean up the global production and supply chain is urgent since the disposal of large quantities of antibiotic effluent in the environment and the proliferation of resistant bacteria in land and waterways surrounding production sites is contributing to an aggravation of the global Anti-Microbial Resistance crisis.

By dumping antibiotic waste into the environment, these factories create huge breeding grounds for superbugs, and the concentrations of antibiotics in polluted waterways can be as high as in the bloodstream of someone on a full strength dose of antibiotics. The report calls on pharmaceutical companies to embrace transparency throughout their supply chains and to immediately stop purchasing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from polluting factories. 

To read the full report, click here on http://sumofus.org

To read the executive summary, click here on http://sumohere