Introduction to Water for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Ultrapure water is essential in the pharmaceutical industry as it provides a high purity solution free of biological contamination for use in medical products. This section gives an overview of water requirements, wastewater challenges and technologies in the pharmaceutical industry.
The pharmaceutical industry researches, develops, manufactures and markets medications for human and animal health, and it is one of the most profitable industries in the world. In 2010, revenues from the top 50 pharmaceutical manufacturers accounted for $593.4 billion in human prescription drug sales.
Process water requirements
Process water in the pharmaceutical industry refers to water of very high quality that meets set criteria. Water that meets the standards set out by the relevant pharmacopoeias will be deemed to be pharmaceutical grade.
Process water technologies
As discussed in the previous section, the most important thing about producing process water is following the regulations laid down in the relevant pharmacopoeia. If the regulations state that a particular technology must be used, then there is no leeway. For example, the European pharmacopoeia mandates that only distillation technologies may be used generate WFI.
Wastewater streams can be discharged directly to sewers for treatment at municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). This option is only available where such infrastructure is in place. Wastewater treatment for streams generated from primary pharmaceutical manufacturing needs to address organic material, total suspended solids (TSS), ammonia, toxicity and pH. Numerous chemical compounds are also present in wastewater streams, including organic and inorganic acids, solvents and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).
Wastewater treatment technologies
There are numerous technologies that are used to treat the wastewater generated from pharmaceutical manufacturing. The technologies can be categorised into several groups, as shown in the following figure.
Water for Pharmaceuticals
Following the patent cliff in 2011, the pharmaceutical industry is in a state of flux. Blockbuster drugs which generated consistent double digit growth for Big Pharma have expired, and now the industry is turning to drastic business models to maximise their revenues. Water is a core business for the pharmaceutical industry, and these developments will ultimately have a knock-on effect on the water for pharmaceuticals market.
This report is an essential tool for any water company working within the sector - helping you to minimise the effects that these developments have on your business and maintaining success in the industry. In 50 pages, this report will analyse the changes in market dynamics and procurement processes, helping you win bids. The report pinpoints the key areas of opportunity and growth, so you can stay ahead of the game in this changing industry.