NEW DELHI: A year after issuance of draft notification to prescribe emission and discharge standards for effluents from bulk drugs and pharmaceutical industries, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change could not come up with any norms for limiting antibiotics discharged from the industry due to lack of available research on the subject.
“Necessary information and research is not available for prescribing the appropriate norms for limiting the concentration of antibiotics, monitoring and compliance verification and testing protocols effluents discharged from pharma industry,” the ministry said.
The norms were important keeping in mind antimicrobial resistance (AMR) emerging as a critical public health issue, with microbes developing resistance to life-saving antibiotics, and untreated effluents laden with antibiotics flowing into waterbodies adding to the threat. The draft notification on emission and discharge standards for Bulk Drugs and Formulations (Pharmaceuticals) Industries were released on January 2020 and the ministry has so far received 35 suggestions from the associations, experts and the industry.
TOLL FROM ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE ON RISE
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally 700,000 people die every year from AMR and it may rise to 10 million by 2050 if trend continues. India along with China are the world’s largest producers of antibiotics