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Call for Action: Pharma industry stakeholders should act now to address AMR due to industrial pollution in India

DSP calls for follow-up action during Antibiotic Awareness Week 2016

after signing of the UNGA Roadmap by 13 pharmaceutical companies

17 November 2016, New Delhi: On the occasion of Antibiotic Awareness Week being observed from 14-20 Nov 2016, DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals has called for decisive action from all industry stakeholders to gather together on a unified platform and take proactive steps to address the critical issue of antimicrobial resistance and industrial pollution in India. This call for action comes after the UNGA Industry Roadmap on AMR was published on Sep 20, just ahead of the UNGA High Level Meeting. This Roadmap is signed by 13 leading bio-pharmaceutical companies and has placed the environmental impact of antibiotics manufacturing as No. 1 priority.

Call for Action: Pharma industry stakeholders should act now to address AMR due to industrial pollution in India

Signatory companies who signed the roadmap committed to reviewing their own manufacturing and supply chains to assess good practices in controlling releases of antibiotics into the environment; establishing a common framework for managing antibiotic discharge and starting to apply it across their own manufacturing and supply chain by 2018; working with stakeholders to develop a practical mechanism to transparently demonstrate that the supply chains meet the standards in the framework and working with independent technical experts to establish science-driven, risk-based targets for discharge concentrations for antibiotics and good practice methods to reduce environmental impact of manufacturing discharges, by 2020. These are all steps to move towards safer antibiotic manufacturing processes where sustainable manufacturing is an essential prerequisite.

It is significant that the United Nations General Assembly has taken up the issue of AMR or Antimicrobial Resistance this year. This shows the gravity of the situation. With resistance of antimicrobials reaching 10 million by mid of this century, medical experts now put drug resistance in the same bracket as other communicable/epidemic diseases which need urgent steps and measures from the international community across the world. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in his monthly radio programme “Mann Ki Baat” also spoke about AMR where he recognized it as a serious public health issue and called for responsible use of antibiotics.

In this context, DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals is therefore advocating with stakeholders from government, civil society, industry bodies and pharma manufacturers to take up strong measures in India following the signing of the roadmap for creating awareness among the public and the media. The Antibiotic Awareness Week, India 2016 is relevant and important in the present context as it provides an atmosphere and opportunity for dialogue to take the steps committed at UNGA forward in varied ways and through collaborative approaches.

Anurag Roy, Business Unit Director, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals, stated, “At DSP, we recognize that producing antibiotics comes with huge responsibility. As a signatory to the UNGA Roadmap 2016 signed at the 71st General Assembly at New York, we are committed to raising awareness on the issue and take concrete follow up steps. We are also looking forward to continuous advocacy on the same with all our stakeholders. The industry must stand up and take responsibility together. The Antibiotic Awareness Week offers a good opportunity to reiterate our pledge to follow best practices, take responsibility and follow self-regulation during manufacturing and waste disposal of effluents.”

Several recent reports have talked about the pharma industry in India as one of the main contributors to industrial pollution and AMR, especially around the Hyderabad region in South India. These signal that urgent steps need to be taken by all concerned if we have to save our environment and retain the effectiveness of antibiotics for ourselves, our society, and our next generations. This is critical as new antibiotics are complex, costly to develop and take years of research. The Government of India in the year 2015 along with various other countries has also initiated the 68th World Health Assembly Resolution for Global Action Plan on AMR with member states committing to developing National Action Plans by 2017.

About DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals (DSP)

DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals (DSP) is at the forefront of today’s ‘green’ enzymatic technology and process development for both anti-infective and cholesterol-lowering molecules. These molecules are used respectively in the manufacturing process of antibiotics, anti-fungals and other therapeutic products, such as statins. DSP develops, produces and sells raw materials, intermediates, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and Drug Products (DP). DSP is a joint venture between Royal DSM and Sinochem Group, and has more than 140 years of expertise and experience in fermentation technology and the pharmaceuticals industry. Royal DSM N.V., headquartered in the Netherlands, is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. Sinochem is a global Fortune 500 company and one of China’s key state-owned enterprises. Headquartered in Singapore, DSP has operations in China, India, the Netherlands, Spain and Mexico