There is ongoing discussion in the pharmaceutical industry today about the potential benefits of flow chemistry and continuous processing. This approach to chemicals manufacturing is not new; it has been widely applied for decades in the chemical process industries for the consistent, economical production of high-volume products.
However, continuous processing is a relatively new concept in the pharma industry, which was founded using a batch production approach. It is also being contemplated at a time when the demand for large-volume manufacturing is shrinking because blockbuster drugs are being replaced by small-volume, highly potent, complex drug substances that make effective use of continuous processing more challenging. In this conservative industry, new technologies are often slow to be adopted because the safety and quality of the drugs produced can be assured using established processing knowledge and techniques.