When prescribed medication by your doctor, it’s only right that you pay more attention to how many tablets to take and when to take them, than to what they actually contain. Modern day drugs are often the result of decades of rigorous research, countless failures in the lab, and perhaps a surprising breakthrough – and all of this before they are submitted for the laborious testing required to gain regulatory approval.
But take a closer look at the label and amongst the ingredients you will likely find one or more of a number of essential elements—Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)—and it’s these that give what may just be a small white tablet the ability to transform your life.
The development of new APIs is never a routine process. With the potential for success sometimes not only years but decades away in the future, it requires our scientists to maintain both extraordinary passion and a deep sense of commitment to the mission. With multiple setbacks to be expected along the way, tenacity is a must, as is the flexibility to recognize new possibilities that may arise from seeming failure.
Naturally, as a company we are united behind our researchers in this mission to find new cures, and go to great lengths to support them in the discovery and development of new APIs. Our cutting-edge technologies and global facilities constantly evolve to take advantage of new breakthroughs.
The sharing of expertise by employees who have decades of experience with younger colleagues is an essential part of our work culture, playing an important role in both fostering strong community relations, and also in ensuring we maintain the quality of our products.
Once an API has been developed, refined and tested, the next challenge is to manufacture it at scale. In impeccably clean rooms, precisely measured combinations of powder and liquid are placed in giant reactors that can hold up to 3,000 liters, heated, filtered and then dried to create the final product. A single production cycle can produce 100 kilograms of an API, equivalent to around 10 million tablets if each contains 10 milligrams of the substance.
Once manufactured—complete with the precisely controlled amount of API—these tablets pass through automated packaging and testing processes, before finally entering the distribution chain. It is only after this lengthy process that they will finally reach you.
No label on a bottle of tablets would ever be large enough to tell the full story of the development of the drug. Instead, it may simply list the APIs contained—but you will know that there is much more to it than meets the eye.