Background: Conventional practices of synthesis, manufacturing, and processing have led to severe adverse consequences for living beings and the environment.
Objectives: Although medications cannot be replaced, the methods of synthesizing, manufacturing, and processing them can be changed and/or replaced. This paper explains the significance of green chemistry practices in the pharmaceutical industry. It emphasizes that we must replace conventional drug synthesis, processing, and manufacturing techniques with greener ones that are cost-effective, sustainable, environment-friendly, and profitable.
Discussion: This paper comprises five sections. Section 1 is an introduction to green chemistry and its correlation with the pharmaceutical industry. Section 2 discusses the metrics necessary to measure the greenness of a process. Section 3 is about solvents used in the pharmaceutical industry, hazards, safety status, and environmental effects, including the ozone depletion potential. Section 4 explains catalytic amidation reactions because amides are one of the most commonly occurring functional groups with pharmacological activity. Section 5 discusses successful cases of converting conventional synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients and/or their intermediates to greener, sustainable alternatives.
Conclusion: A balance is necessary between profits, processes, consumers, and the environment to ensure the survival of all stakeholders and decrease the environmental burden of pharmaceuticals. Incentives such as green chemistry awards should be endorsed and encouraged, in addition to making green chemistry part of tertiary education. In addition, changes to rules and regulations for drug approval in the context of green chemistry principles are necessary in order to preserve our planet for future generations.