Community pharmacists share the increasing concerns on the negative effects pharmaceuticals can cause on the environment, and as a result, on public and animal health.
Environmental protection contributes to safeguarding the health and safety of future generations; at the same time medicines play a critical role in ensuring a high level of public health. A right balance
needs to be achieved between increased awareness and appropriate policy approaches to prevent the potential negative effects pharmaceuticals can cause on the environment
on the one hand, and access to safe and effective medicines
with demonstrated benefits on public health on the other.
The European Commission has, as required by EU legislationI, published a Communication on a European Union Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment
on 11th March 2019. It identifies six action areas concerning all stages of the pharmaceutical life cycle, both for pharmaceuticals for human and veterinary use, where improvements can be made. The areas that are most relevant for the European community pharmacy sector are discussed below.