For years the pharmaceutical industry has been perceived to be technologically advanced. And why wouldn’t it be? There’s a huge focus on funding research and finding new ways to progress in chemistry and human biology as well as the increasing shift to virtual online pharmacies.
But shift your attention to the production and distribution of the pharmaceuticals, however, and you’ll find that things are looking a little bit dated. The current method of producing large batches of drugs have been in place for years, and in most cases it has become an inefficient way of doing things.
It’s about time things changed, and it looks like that may just be starting to happen. New innovations are being implemented in order to maximise productivity and produce drugs that are less prone to contamination. Not only that, but it will even ensure that creating these pharmaceuticals is done in a much more environmentally friendly manner.
Continuous manufacturing is being heralded as a possible industry-saver. This is when the segmented steps of batch manufacturing are combined into one streamlined process, with much faster production times. When using this technology you get flexible, rapid output and there’s less of a need for large building space. Not only that, but this technology leaves a much smaller carbon footprint too. An eco-friendly way of producing pharmaceuticals has been needed for years, and now we might actually be on the verge of a breakthrough.
Industry experts believe that the first products made using continuous manufacturing will hit the market sometime in the early parts of 2016. Costs and carbon footprint are expected to be reduced by half, so if the early signs are promising then you can expect this method to gain traction and really dominate the industry before too long.
Pharmaceutical production could soon catch up with inventory from other sectors thanks to the help of continuous manufacturing. To put things into perspective, using the traditional batch manufacturing methods it can take 100-300 days to go from the start of production to shipment to the pharmacy.
With the implementation of continuous manufacturing that timescale could be reduced to less than ten days. Add that massive time saving to the fact that operating costs could be dramatically reduced as well then you can see why so many industry insiders are optimistic about the future. Companies may be successful without embracing these new methods for a short time, but before long they could see the industry moving on without them.
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