Pharma fires, pollution targeted in India

Indian officials have asked Aurobindo Pharma to provide details of the late November fire at a manufacturing plant that left two workers dead and one injured. The fire, which happened at an API plant in Andhra Pradesh, started after an explosion when the chemical trityl perchlorate was in use.

The request aligns with government concerns over pharma manufacturing safety, reports Pharmabiz. The report notes the rising incidence of fires at drugmaker facilities, which have caused about 6 deaths recently.

Officials say they are conducting regular safety checks. "In spite of our reminders, most of the pharma [companies] are violating the safety norms and resorting to deceiving tactics," a factories officer explains in the report. Manufacturers are hiring unqualified laborers who are unaware of the hazards, he adds.

Aurobindo had been cited for fire safety violations in April.

Separately, the state Pollution Control Board has charged 6 Hyderabad-area drugmakers with environmental violations concerning the disposal of spent solvents. A task force suspects the companies are selling the substances to construction companies, which use them to produce bitumen for road construction rather than safely disposing of it.

The board is threatening the shutdown of the following companies: Lakshmi Saraswathi Chemicals & Organics, Sri Harsha Organic, Apex Drugs & Intermediates, Shruti Laboratories, SKR Chemicals and Sujith Chemicals, according to the Times of India.

- see the Aurobindo story
- here's more
- and here's the solvent pollution story

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