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Published on : Jun 15, 2015

An activist group known as SumofUs.org has accused several pharmaceutical companies of being among the contributory factors for surge in drug resistant pathogenic bacteria. The group believes that the plentiful amounts of waste from pharmaceutical companies that enter rivers and streams contain small amounts of antimicrobials or antibiotics and these are causing the problem of resistance. 

A digital journal by a scientist from UNC, in Charlotte, Professor Olya Keen had a feature in June of this year about water treatment process that did not remove antibiotics from waste water. These were the wastes that were flushed down by consumers in washrooms and another was the waste from pharmaceutical companies. SumofUs has initiated a study to examine the operations of the pharmaceutical companies. According to their report Pfizer is among the offenders. The report has details of 3 major suppliers of active ingredients to pharmaceutical companies who are guilty of adding toxic wastes to water systems that include antimicrobials. The report has details about the three Chinese companies that supply leading companies such as McKeeson that owns Lloyds Pharmacy, OCP, and Celesio.

The increase in over exposure to mutated resistant bacteria can cause infections that may not be treatable with antibiotics. The study suggests that the issues have arisen due to lack of monitoring or avoidance of following the regulations. SumofUs has got its information based on a complex network levels of evidence uncovered through undercover investigation in China. The dark network includes the global brands that are trusted, Indian middlemen, and the business relationships between Chinese producers to name a few. The undercover expose involves financial and legal documents, customs data, regulatory reports, databases, and first-hand proof that has been found during the investigation.

The organization wants a cleanup of global pharmaceutical companies’ methods of operation for production of antibiotics and to stop using raw materials from any company that is involved in polluting practices.