European Pharmaceutical Industry Statement on the Update on the Progress and Implementation of the EU Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

Joint Press Statement of European Pharmaceutical Industry Associations on the Commission’s Update on the Progress and Implementation of the European Union Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment


The pharmaceutical industry remains committed to continuing to minimise the impact medicines may have on the environment and we look forward to working with the European Commission and other stakeholders across the areas of work detailed in the European Union Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment.


 

The members of the Inter-Association Initiative on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (IAI-PiE) Task Force welcome the publication of the European Commission’s Update and Implementation of the EU Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (PiE). As previously communicated, the Task Force – which includes AESGP, EFPIA and Medicines for Europe representing the self-care, innovative, and off-patent pharmaceutical industry (generics, biosimilar and value-added medicines) – supports the Strategy’s holistic lifecycle approach to minimise the impact of pharmaceuticals on the environment and to encourage stakeholders to lead by facilitating exchange of best practices.

As pharmaceutical industry representatives who acknowledge their responsibilities, we have been driving forward the EU Strategic Approach to PiE implementation through numerous industry activities that minimise environmental impact of those medicines that pose a risk to the environment while safeguarding access to effective treatments for patients across all sectors of the pharmaceutical industry.

The associations represented welcome the European Parliament and the Commission’s recognition of industry-led actions, such as the Eco-Pharmaco-Stewardship (EPS) initiative and a number of other initiatives, including the #Medsdisposal campaign to raise awareness on the safe disposal of medicines. The Pharmaceutical industry is supportive of measures that foster research on medicines which are safer for the environment. Industrial research and development on greener manufacturing methods has been increasing, without prejudice to the focus on medicines’ safety and efficacy which remains the pharmaceutical companies’ primary objective.

The above-mentioned healthcare priority concerns are also acknowledged in the European Commission Pharmaceutical Strategy and the European Commission Progress Report on the implementation of the PiE Strategic Approach, in which, emphasis is given to two Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) projects:

  • “iPiE” (Intelligence-led Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment) – which identified and prioritised medicines that are most likely to present a risk to the environment.
  • “PREMIER” (Prioritisation and Risk Evaluation of Medicines in the Environment) – which aims to deliver a novel assessment system for characterising the environmental risks of APIs.

 

The European pharmaceutical industry associations are also working, directly or via member companies, on the AMR Industry Alliance that aims to monitor and manage potential risks from the production of antibiotics on the environment and to build responsible manufacturing effluent management.

The IAI-PiE Task Force broadly supports the policy areas of the European Commission Strategic Approach to PiE and the actions proposed for the coming years, most of which are aligned with the actions that industry has already identified to effectively reduce potential environmental risks. The European pharmaceutical industry also welcomes the increased engagement and lead taken by Member States on various issues through the Pharmaceutical Committee for human medicines action plan.

The pharmaceutical industry remains committed to continuing to minimise the impact medicines may have on the environment and we look forward to working with the European Commission and other stakeholders across the areas of work detailed in the European Union Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment.

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