What is the difference between API (Active pharmaceutical ingredientes) and pharmaceutical intermediates?
API and raw material are often confused due to the similar usage of the two terms.
The main difference between the two is that the API is an active product that has completed the synthesis route, and the intermediate is a product in a certain place in the synthesis route.
Detailed explanation of API and pharmaceutical intermediates
The active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is the part of any drug that produces the intended effects. Some drugs, such as combination therapies, have multiple active ingredients to treat different symptoms or act in different ways. For example, an active ingredient to relieve pain is included in a painkiller. This is called API. A small amount of the active ingredient has an effect, so only a tiny part of the active ingredient is contained in medicine. You will find the name and amount of the active ingredient contained in the medicine on the package of OTC (over-the-counter) drugs.
What is the difference? Raw material refers to chemical compounds that are used as a base to make an API. API manufacturers purchase the raw materials from raw material or chemical product manufacturers both in China and internationally. The API is not made by only one reaction from the raw materials but rather it becomes an API via several chemical compounds. The chemical compound which is in the process of becoming an API from a raw material is called an intermediate. Among the APIs we produce, there is an API which passes through over ten kinds of intermediates in a process when it changes from being a raw material into an API. After this long manufacturing process, it is purified until it reaches a very high degree of purity and finally becomes an API.