Pharmaceuticals Market, Consumption Trends and Disease Incidence Are Not Driving the Pharmaceutical Research on Water and Wastewater

Author(s): Omar Israel González Peña

Pharmaceuticals enhance our quality of life; consequently, their consumption is growing as a result of the need to treat ageing-related and chronic diseases and changes in the clinical practice. The market revenues also show an historic growth worldwide motivated by the increase on the drug demand. However, this positivism on the market is fogged because the discharge of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites into the environment, including water, also increases due to their inappropriate management, treatment and disposal; now, worldwide, this fact is recognized as an environmental concern and human health risk. Intriguingly, researchers have studied the most effective methods for pharmaceutical removal in wastewater; however, the types of pharmaceuticals investigated in most of these studies do not reflect the most produced and consumed pharmaceuticals on the market. Hence, an attempt was done to analyze the pharmaceutical market, drugs consumption trends and the pharmaceutical research interests worldwide. There are other drivers and interests that promote the pharmaceutical research. Thus, this review is an important contribution to those that are interested not only on the pharmaceutical market and drugs consumption, but also on the links, the drivers and interests that motivate and determine the research work on certain groups of pharmaceuticals on water and wastewater.

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