A Deeper Shade of Green: Inspiring Sustainable Drug Manufacturing
In this article, the IQ Green Chemistry working group in collaboration with the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable presents the results of an outstanding collaboration between nine large pharmaceutical firms to formulate a unified and innovative green manufacturing measure that will vastly exceed conventional approaches to green chemistry metrics for the entire industry to the benefit of environment and patient.
The manuscript substantially advances and expands methodology with a detailed analysis of a large data set of 46 drug manufacturing processes including the oft-neglected outsourced production and early supply chain segments. It introduces a novel reporting tool – the Green Scorecard – as a value-added communication strategy to capture key information for executive leadership and to facilitate widespread industrial adoption.
Specifically, we improve methodology through simplification (one green goal), clarification (consensus analysis starting points), innovation (comprehensive new formula to facilitate waste determination of starting materials), and scope (application of methodology to supply chain). All of these factors contribute to an accurate green manufacturing performance expectation, and – for the first time – enable consistent and meaningful process waste analysis focused on waste reduction in the pharmaceutical industry. We expect that broad implementation and utilization of the new goal-driven rating system for green and sustainable drug manufacturing will lead to significantly lower environmental footprint for the pharmaceutical industry. This will motivate more economical drug development and manufacture, and thereby contribute to reducing the cost of drugs to patients. The new insights and ideas presented herein are not only aimed at inspiring and realizing greener manufacturing within the pharmaceutical industry, but could have widespread implication for broader fine chemical manufacture. This manuscript will therefore influence green thinking and stimulate discussion within diverse scientific and industrial communities.