Green Chemistry

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Test tubes lying on their sides


Green chemistry aims to design chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. This environmentally-friendly scientific approach is making headway in the pharmaceutical industry, guided under federal oversight. The FDA and EPA have established frameworks evaluating the environmental impact of active pharmaceutical ingredients while maintaining strict patient safety standards. Pharmaceutical companies closely collaborate with these agencies to choose more benign alternatives for drug formulations and manufacturing where possible, though therapeutic efficacy always takes priority. By considering elements like biodegradability and toxicity early in development phases, the FDA steers the industry toward more sustainable choices from solvents and catalysts to packaging components. The agencies also provide guidance on best practices in chemical assessment. Though the highly regulated nature of drug making can constrain quick adoption of new compounds, the pharmaceutical sector's gradual embrace of green chemistry principles, with science-based federal advice, leads to incremental innovations benefitting both patients and the planet.

The Issue

State preemption of local statutes and regulations helps avoid a patchwork quilt of differing, and sometimes conflicting, requirements across jurisdictions.

CHPA’s Position

CHPA encourages state and local lawmakers to refrain from creating new legislation addressing green chemistry in pharmaceuticals, and instead rely on the rigorous guidelines and standards already implemented at the federal level by agencies like the FDA. Allowing experienced federal regulators to oversee this specialized area based on the best current science preserves consistency for manufacturers and ensures patient health remains the top priority.