Medicines are crucial to save human lives and improve wellbeing. However, when prescribed, used, or disposed inappropriately, they can impact human health and severely impact wildlife and ecosystems. There are various ways in which pharmaceuticals impact the environment. Firstly, the medicines and medical equipment supply chain releases large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Secondly, wastewater from the production and usage of medicines can be detrimental to wildlife and expedite the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). It is estimated that there are 33 000 human deaths linked to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the EU/EEA each year.
Multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral engagement with the One Health approach across the medicine’s lifecycle is urgently needed to address this issue. How can health managers play their part?
This session will present the findings of the White Paper produced by EHMA on “Reducing the environmental impact of medicines from procurement to disposal”. It will discuss strategies and best practices that health managers can implement to reduce the environmental impact of medicines at the various stages of the medicine’s lifecycle, including procurement, logistic planning and distribution, prescription, consumption and use, and disposal.