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Pharmacy - Essay Example

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THE LIFE CYCLE OF PHARMACEUTICALS I am a bulk shipment of a drug precursor arriving at a manufacturing plant. In my current raw form, I am not a medicine, but I do have pharmacological properties. In the coming hours and days, I will be converted from bulk raw materials into a pharmaceutical product that might save someone's life…
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Download file to see previous pages Of course, there are many other formulations that I could become as a drug: powder, gel capsules, even nasal spray. But the most common types are the tablet and suspension forms. All of the equipment I come into contact with between now and when I am ingested by a patient must be clean and sterile. I must be sealed away from outside contact, so that I do not become contaminated with debris, bacteria, or other microscopic particles. Every canister, tank, mixer, pipe, hose, and bottle has to be sterilized completely. Many of the items I will come in contact with have been steam-sterilized, because using clean steam prevents me from being contaminated by the cleaning products themselves. I am pumped from a delivery vehicle into a tank to be stored at the manufacturing site. The tank I am in is only one of many in the tank farm at this pharmaceutical plant. In order to assure safety, the tanks are sterilized before I am pumped into them through an airtight transfer pump. After a period of storage, I am then pumped from the storage tanks into a make-up and boot tank, and then from there into a reactor tank to start the manufacturing process. The plant keeps very careful track of the arrival times of all the ingredients for their products, including me, in order to ensure that nothing is stored too long. They also have to keep track of the temperature and humidity of the storage areas, because some ingredients cannot be exposed to temperatures that are too high or too low, and some cannot be exposed to humid air in case they react with the oxygen. Some chemicals must even be kept away from contact with the oxygen in the air, because they will oxidize and change form. At the start of the manufacturing process, I am weighed with great precision, as are the excipients that will make up the tablets or suspension with me. The weights of the various ingredients will depend on batch size and dosage amount, and all of the weights are recorded for quality assurance. Each of the ingredients are all weighed individually in separate sterile canisters because having the right amounts of each ingredient is vital to the properties of the final product. The reactor mixes us together in the right proportions, according to the size of the batch and the dosage amount of the final product. Depending on my properties and the properties of the other ingredients in my mixture, the next steps will vary. If I and the other active and inactive ingredients are dry powder that can be mixed together smoothly, we can be sent on to the next step of tablet pressing without further processing. If the right mixtures cannot be obtained through simple stirring in the reactor, there are two other possibilities to create the necessary homogeneity of the mixture for the creation of tablets. These possibilities are wet granulation or dry granulation. If I can be mixed with water, the manufacturer will use an aqueous solution, as that will be safer; if, like many pharmacological chemicals, I cannot come in contact with water without reacting to it and degrading, I will be mixed with a solvent solution. If I go through wet granulation, a liquid binder-adhesive will be added to me in the reactor, where we will be thoroughly mixed together. Using the correct amounts of the liquid binder-adhesive is vital, because if too much of the liquid is added to me, my granules will come out to be too ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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