Reducing the environmental impact of medicines: the roles of health managers

Medicines are crucial to saving human lives and improving wellbeing. However, when prescribed, used, or disposed of inappropriately, they can impact human health and severely impact wildlife and ecosystems. Medicines can impact the environment through CO2 emissions emitted by the supply chain of medicines or through pharmaceutical effluents from the production and usage of medicines. Pharmaceutical wastewater contains an important concentration of antibiotic resistance genes and their continuous presence in the environment can lead to antimicrobial resistance. In the EU/EEA alone, there is an estimated 33 000 annual human deaths linked to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Multisectoral engagement across the medicine’s lifecycle is therefore urgently needed to address this matter. So, how can health managers play their part?

This session will discuss strategies and best practices that health managers can implement to reduce the environmental impact of medicines at various stages of the medicine’s lifecycle. In particular, it will dive into actions that health managers can take during the procurement; logistic planning and distribution; prescription; consumption and use; and disposal stages.

Join the session on Thursday, 16 June at 16:15-17:30 CET. Ms Emmi Weller, Policy Officer, European Health Management Association, will deliver the opening address, which will be followed by a panel discussion with:

  • Mr Joaquim Duarte, Senior Sustainable Waste Manager, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust
  • Prof Dr Marija Jevtic, Health Manager, Full professor, Medical Faculty, University of Novi Sad, Scientific collaborator, Research centre for Environmental and Occupational Health, Université Libre de Bruxelles, EU Climate Pact Ambassador
  • Dr Kirsty Reid, Director of Science Policy, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations

The session will be moderated by Mr George Valiotis, Executive Director, European Health Management Association.