Tackling pollution from pharmaceutical factories

Call for urgent action to tackle environmental pollution at pharmaceutical factories supplying the UK NHS.

Together with Changing Markets Foundation, Health Action International (HAI), Health Care Without Harm Europe and the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) has written to the UK Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, Health and the Environment; the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport; the Chief Medical Officer for England; and the Chief Executives of the NHS in England and Scotland, calling for urgent action to tackle environmental pollution at pharmaceutical factories supplying the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Highlighting the findings of earlier reports and investigations, the letters call on the UK Government to:

  • Bring forward proposals to regulate pharmaceutical manufacturing including the incorporation of environmental criteria into Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • Demand that the pharmaceutical industry clean up its supply chain and introduce full transparency on the origin of antibiotic drugs right back to the factory that produced the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)
  • Introduce an obligation for NHS trusts to purchase drugs only from responsible providers that, amongst other things, implement proper pharmaceutical discharge management in line with the approach adopted by the Swedish regions.

The letters also highlight the urgent need for a binding approach  to ensure all pharmaceutical companies and suppliers worldwide are obliged to stop contaminating the local environment with pharmaceutical including antimicrobial waste. The individual letters can be downloaded here.


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