The raw materials used in pharmaceuticals always need to be of the highest quality. After all, without high-quality raw materials, a high-quality end product isn’t a possibility.
Raw materials come in a dizzying variety of options. Some raw materials may be derived from natural substances such as plants, while others contain parts of living organisms such as blood cells. Still others are synthetic. Want to know a little more about the different types of raw materials often seen during a career in quality control? Read on to find out!
A Quick Overview of APIs for Students in Pharmaceutical School
As students in quality control courses well know, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are an important part of any pharmaceutical. As their name suggests, APIs are the active ingredient that gives a pharmaceutical product its intended effect, whether that product is a simple over-the-counter muscle relaxant or much-needed blood thinner.
However, it’s important to note that while APIs are an ingredient in pharmaceutical products, APIs are also themselves made from raw materials. To make an API, different chemicals need to be combined together. However, in most cases creating an API takes much more than just one reaction. Several steps may be necessary to create the final API, with each in-between product being called an intermediary. It’s a process that is very important, with some companies dedicated solely to the production of high-quality APIs.
The Important Role of Excipients
While an API gives a pharmaceutical product its medical properties, it often only comprises just a small part of any pill, syrup, or medication. Other components that do not have a therapeutic effect are known as excipients. These materials, however, still serve necessary and important functions.
Some excipients are designed to help give a pharmaceutical product a longer or more stable shelf life. Others are designed to ensure that the medication dissolves quickly once ingested. Still others help to bind ingredients together. Some excipients may even be responsible for the colour or taste of a particular medication, making it more palatable to kids and picky eaters. Thus, these materials play a vital role in the safety and quality of pharmaceuticals, as well as in their appeal to consumers.
In addition, even though excipients are inactive ingredients, it is still possible for some patients to react negatively to them. An allergic reaction to sulfites, benzyl alcohol, or another excipient can have a big impact on a patient.
Quality Control and Raw Materials
For professionals with a diploma in pharmaceutical quality control, ensuring the quality and safety of raw materials is an essential and often primary responsibility. Incoming raw materials are diligently tested to confirm the identity of the product, catch any harmful impurities, and verify the purity of the product. This ensures that no counterfeit, contaminated, or sub-par products make their way into facilities. It is an important responsibility that helps to keep all medications safe, and that has a profound and positive impact.
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