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The issue of AMR from Manufacturing

High concentrations of antibiotic residues in factory wastewater can create hotspots of resistant bacteria which may lead to AMR. While manufacturing is just one of the contributors to the emergence of AMR in the environment, its impact cannot be overlooked. AMR is a major threat to global public health as well as to the healthcare industry. Many standard medical procedures such as organ transplants, chemotherapy, and surgeries such as caesarean sections become much more dangerous without effective antibiotics to prevent and treat infections. Antibiotics are the cornerstone of our modern healthcare system, and complying with PNEC standards enables manufacturers to ensure supply of these critically important medicines does not contribute to the risk of AMR.

What are the PNEC targets, and why should we strive to meet them?

The PNEC discharge target is the concentration of an antibiotic in water at which there is unlikely to be a risk of adverse environmental effects or of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) developing. These scientific, risk-based targets were developed by the AMR Industry Alliance and cover around 120 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used in antibiotic manufacturing. Each individual antibiotic has a corresponding PNEC value, published in the AMR Industry Alliance table of Recommended PNECs for Risk Assessments (updated periodically).

The PNEC values are increasingly being recognized as the standard for antibiotic discharge concentrations in water and are expanding beyond Alliance companies and their supply chains to be used by healthcare procurers as well.

Centrient’s journey to full compliance

As a strong advocate for sustainable manufacturing, Centrient Pharmaceuticals became a founding board member of the AMR Industry Alliance in 2017, working with partners to raise awareness and develop an industry standard to mitigate the threat of AMR from manufacturing. Since then, the company’s own journey to reaching full compliance has included establishing or upgrading state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facilities at all our sites worldwide and developing tests for measuring antibiotic activity in wastewater streams leading to a fully clean and PNEC-compliant supply chain.

WHITE PAPER: Manufacturing sustainable antibiotics for the future

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