In an effort to reduce pharma pollution, a key European Commission strategy is likely assessing how pharmaceuticals will impact the environment before approval for sale in Europe.
According to Veronica Manfredi, director for quality of at DG Environment, this will aim to “tackle what happens in the whole lifecycle of pharma production, authorisation, consumption and disposal,” during an exchange with the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.
The strategy consists of 6 pillars:
- Increase awareness and reduce non-essential use of human and animal medicine
- Stimulate the development of and the use of greener pharmaceuticals and more respectful manufacturing
- Introduction of pre-approval environmental risk assessments for pharmaceuticals
- Considering ways to reduce pharmaceutical waste
- Monitoring drugs in the environment at the national level and at other levels within the supply chain
- Address areas where more research is needed
Manfredi noted that whilst it is clearer that pharma runoff adversely affects the environment as opposed to human health, the goal is not to pit human health against the environment, but instead nudge “the pharmaceuticals industry to come up with products which are less harmful to the environment.”