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Pharmaceutical Raw Material Industry Boom Creates Environmental Headache

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

With an annual growth rate of 20 percent since 2001, China has become the biggest pharmaceutical raw material producer and exporter in the world. The country produced 1.23 million tonnes of over 1,500 raw ingredients in 2005, with some having dominant shares in the global market. For instance, China's saccharin sodium, vitamin C, and penicillin industrial salt exports accounted for 90, 65, and 60 percent of the world's trade, respectively. Even though the manufacturing of products such as penicillin salt and caffeine has been identified as highly energy-intensive and polluting, these industries are still expanding, at great environmental and health costs. Experts are calling for more stringent control of pharmaceutical raw material production and export. (Click here for more - Chinese Language)

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