Pfizer quantifies green gains

After cutting 43 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the making of anti-seizure and pain medication Lyrica, Pfizer wants to do more. The drug giant is further re-engineering processes to cut another 20 percent.

The effort has so far helped reduce to 9 the Lyrica manufacturing process E-factor--the environmental-factor ratio of waste generated per kilogram of product. Pfizer says it expects to spare the environment about 200,000 metric tons of organic chemical waste over 13 years from Lyrica production alone.

Pfizer is spreading the green to other product lines and areas of the company. Drugs now in late-stage development use 24 percent less solvent per kilogram than those it was testing a few years ago.

"The company is quite good at implementing process improvements," says Pfizer green chemistry leader Peter Dunn, according to The Day.

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