The pharmaceutical industry includes the manufacture, extraction, processing, purification, and packaging of chemical materials to be used as medications for humans or animals. Each of these steps may generate air emissions, liquid effluents, and solid wastes. Waste waters produced from pharmaceutical industries, such as antibiotic manufacture and formulation, generally contain high levels of soluble organics, many of which are recalcitrant. These wastes should be treated properly before discharging into water bodies. The paper gives a detailed description of the various processes carried out in a typical pharmaceutical industry. It also provides a brief idea about the treatment methods available for pharmaceutical waste water.