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Centrient Pharmaceuticals: Global Opportunity to Tackle Antibiotic Production Waste

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As leaders gather for the International Ministerial Conference on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), experts and responsible manufacturers are calling for a 'One Health' approach to AMR and recognition of the impact of antibiotic production on the environment.

"With two thirds of the world's rivers now known to be polluted with unsafe levels of antibiotics, discussions on AMR should be addressing this issue. Alongside antibiotic stewardship and infection control we need to see regulation regarding emissions into our rivers. Many of the resistant genes we see in human pathogens originate from environmental bacteria, suggesting that environmental pollution can drive the evolution of resistance, avoidably accelerating AMR," says microbial ecologist Professor William Gaze from the University of Exeter.

Netherlands-based, global manufacturer of antibiotics, Centrient Pharmaceuticals are welcoming government representatives from the ministerial meeting to their sustainable production facility today and hope the meeting will drive support for more sustainable production of antibiotics.

"We aim to highlight to ministers that sustainable production is achievable and needs to be recognised as one of the three principles in the fight against AMR," commented Karl Rotthier, CEO, Centrient Pharmaceuticals.

The three principles in the fight against AMR:

  1. Take antibiotics only when needed and exactly as prescribed (by patients)
  2. Make antibiotics in a sustainable way by adopting emission targets (by manufacturers)
  3. Buy antibiotics only from responsible sources to ensure a clean supply chain (by procurers)

During the production of antibiotics, wastewater is created which if not treated leads to residual antibiotics entering the environment. This allows bacteria to become resistant, exacerbating the issue of AMR and accelerating the decline of the drugs' usefulness, yet there is currently no major focus on sustainable production in the WHO Global AMR Action Plan.

Research published last month showed that of 711 rivers and waterways in 72 countries around the world, 65% had antibiotics present. Antibiotic concentration levels vary wildly from four times the safe levels in the Danube in Austria, to 300 times in Bangladesh.

The Access to Medicine Foundation recently highlighted that while 15 of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers have an environmental risk-management strategy in place, only eight companies have set limits on antibiotic discharge in wastewaters.


Download infographics on the health and environmental impact and an AMR timeline as well as four case studies on antibiotic production here:


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Last Updated: 18-Jun-2019