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Discuss the value of chemistry in society

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Discuss the value of chemistry in society For some time in the modern world, and especially subsequent to the events of September 11th, there has been a wave of concern regarding chemistry and its potential destructive powers. There are many people who hold a fearful attitude towards the chemical industry and its products. This is because the threat of chemical and bio-chemical weapons is very real and is a negative aspect of the business. Also it is often deemed environmentally unfriendly and unsafe for the nearby public. However it is far wider believed that the pros outweigh the cons massively. To display this I have produced a case study on Glaxo Smith Kline. Background Glaxo Smith Kline, based in the UK, is one of the pharmaceutical industry leaders, with an estimated seven per cent of the world's pharmaceutical market and declare a global quest to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. This shows just how people based the company is despite its huge size. GSK is also involved in four major therapeutic areas - anti-infectives, central nervous system (CNS), respiratory and gastro-intestinal/metabolic. ...read more.


The different grades are colour coded. The researcher has to specify which gloves to use in the risk assessment. Implications These near perfect safety precautions go a long way to proving that the chemical industry is really very safe and does not pose as much danger to the public as is often thought by many people. With the help of modern technology and careful planning the industry, it has become safer than many school science classes! Drug Development GSK GSK spends millions of pounds each year on research and development. It costs something in the region of �450,000,000 to produce a new medicine. The process of developing a new medicine takes about 10 years. Research usually begins with genetic research, which identifies the proteins involved in the disease. Then thousands of compounds will be tested to see if they react with the protein involved in the disease. This process is highly automated, using compounds stored in the automated chemical store. From this the best compound is identified. This will be the compound, which reacts best with the protein. This will not yet be good enough to be used as a therapeutic drug though. ...read more.


All waste from the labs is treated as being contaminated and is incinerated. The ash from this is disposed of in landfill sites. Potentially a very large volume of water would be put into the local sewage system. To avoid overloading the system, GSK have installed a recycling system where the water that passes through condensers is reused in a closed system. This also of course saves water. There are no sinks in any of the labs so that nothing can be poured away like is practiced in schools. They are very environmentally friendly. Implications This is great for the environment as nothing is thrown away. It is all dealt with carefully and the industry is becoming far more eco-friendly than in the past. Conclusion From my case study of Glaxo Smith Kline I have found that the industry is in reform. It is becoming far safer and there are many less ethical issues than ever before. Animal testing is low and the environment is finally being preserved. The industry is good for the economy and employs many people from college and university graduates to product test subjects. The pros of chemistry in society far outweigh the cons and this is illustrated perfectly in Glaxo Smith Kline. ...read more.

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