As part of Nordea’s ongoing engagement with drug companies and their suppliers regarding pollution in the pharmaceutical supply chain, and following the publication of Impacts of Pharmaceutical Pollution on Communities and Environment in India in March 2016, Nordea commissioned the Changing Markets Foundation to conduct a follow-up investigation in India.
Evidence confirms pharmaceutical pollution is still rife and not being effectively addressed.
The report, "Hyderabad’s Pharmaceutical Pollution Crisis: Heavy Metal and Solvent Contamination at Factories in a Major Indian Drug Manufacturing Hub", explores the environmental and human health impacts caused by manufacturing discharges from pharmaceutical factories in Hyderabad, India. These factories in Hyderabad constitute one of the world’s largest generic drug manufacturing hubs.
Results from the testing of water samples collected adjacent to pharma factories and some of the city’s waterbodies in September 2017 reveal the presence of a wide range of heavy metals and industrial solvents commonly used in pharmaceutical manufacturing. In some cases, these toxic chemicals were found to be present at extremely high concentrations, orders of magnitude higher than maximum regulatory limits or safe exposure levels. The report also highlights the devastating ecological and health impacts of India’s drug pollution crisis, both on local people and the global population via its role in the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The report got attention in media and Wall Street Journal published this article on the issue.