2012 ends, 2013 begins, and the green journey continues…

SWEDISH SUMMARY: Om jag tittar tillbaka på 2012 så har året vad gäller läkemedel och miljö dominerats av uppdragen inom den Nationella Läkemedelsstrategin. Under 2013 kommer framför allt de två uppdragen inom strategin som kallas 7.1 respektive 7.2 att dominera agendan.

The snow is melting away...

The snow is melting away...

It is always fun looking back on the year that has passed and also trying to look ahead and see what the new year will bring. Similar to previous years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) I’ll give it a try!

First looking back (as yesterday in the ski tracks when Maria was catching up on me…).

Looking backwards...

Looking backwards...

When it comes to pharmaceuticals and the environment, 2012 has been dominated by the environmental tasks within the National Pharmaceutical Strategy:

Reduce effects on the environment by pharmaceuticals, locally and globally:
7.1. Investigate if the environmental aspects should be considered when decisions on subsidy for a pharmaceutical are decided (Lead: Ministry of Health – part of Sofia Wallström’s Pharmaceutical and Pharmacy Review): Review of possibilities to – within the context of the national reimbursement system – increasingly take environmental considerations.
7.2. Encourage voluntary control of emissions from pharmaceutical factories (Lead: LIF): Introduction of a voluntary environmental labeling/assessment of pharmaceutical products.
7.3. Investigate what further measures can be taken at national level to reduce wastage of medicines or in other ways limit the environmental impact of use of pharmaceuticals (Lead: Medical Products Agency): Investigation of the causes of wastage and propose measures to reduce wastage of medicines. Implementation of joint information efforts to encourage patients to return leftover medicines.
7.4. Promote the possibilities for environment considerations during production and use of medicines (Lead: Cabinet Office): The Government on June 9, 2011 took the decision (M 2010:04) to give the All Party Committee on Environmental Objectives (Miljömålsberedningen) the additional task of developing a strategy for Sweden’s work in the EU as well as internationally for a non-toxic environment. The strategy should also encompass the impact of pharmaceuticals on the environment.

If you would like to read some of my blog posts from 2012 on these issues, try these ones for instance:
Green economic incentives in the pharmaceutical industry (from Dec 05), NLS 7.2 and Sustainability Assessments of Pharmaceuticals (from Nov 22), and News re Pharma and the All Party Committee on Env Objectives (from Jan 24).

And of course, related to task 7.3 of the National Pharmaceutical Strategy, I have to mention in my 2012 chronicle, the Unused Medicines Campaign from March and April.

Another topic (however connected to the National Pharmaceutical Strategy’s tasks 7.1 and 7.2) which has been heavily discussed during 2012 is environmental and social criteria in public procurement of pharmaceuticals. Read my blog post from September 26 for more details.

Looking ahead into 2013...

Looking ahead into 2013...

And looking ahead into 2013 – what will be on the agenda?

Well of course, the tasks 7.1 and 7.2 of the National Pharmaceutical Strategy will be very important and will strongly dominate the agenda. I really cross my fingers, hoping that the Sofia Wallström review will open up for environmental considerations within the pricing and reimbursement system in their report (due April 1, 2013)! I am also convinced that we will se further developments when it comes to sustainability criteria in public procurement and tenders. We will see interesting initiatives on the social aspects of sustainable development already early in 2013 as part of Pauline Göthberg’s work. For more details on Pauline Göthberg and her work, please read the blog post from November 30, on Pfizer AB’s seminar regarding sustainability and pharmaceuticals.

And not to forget, the research projects MistraPharma and Pharmas continues, and there will of course be more discussions regarding active pharmaceutical ingridients and the Water Framework Directive (and of course other regulatory developments such as MPA’s GMP-proposal and eco-pharmacovigilance).

I guess it looks like 2013 also will be an intensive and interesting year! Happy New Year to everyone!!!

Discussions on environmental and social aspects of procurement

SWEDISH SUMMARY: Pfizer AB genomförde igår ett seminarium på ämnet Läkemedel och miljö. Deltog i seminariet gjorde ett trettiotal medarbetare från hälso- och sjukvården. Dels presenterade Malin Parkler (chef för Pfizer Primary care i Sverige) Pfizers strategier och arbete gällanade ”inte bara läkemedel”, och dels presenterade jag och Pauline Göthberg (nationell samordnare för socialt ansvarstagande i den offentliga upphandlingen) olika aspekter gällande läkemedel och miljö- och sociala krav.

Yesterday Pfizer AB arranged a seminar on Pharmaceuticals and the Environment. There were roughly 30 colleagues from Swedish healthcare (mainly from operational units within Stockholm County Council) participating. They listened to, and discussed with, Malin Parkler (head of Pfizer Primary Care in Sweden) on issues around Pfizer’s values and our initiatives on ”more-than-medication” (see the blog post from Oct 11 for more details on this). They also listened to and discussed my presentation on Pfizer’s sustainability initiatives. Both on Social responsibility programs such as the ones described when I visited Uganda in 2010, and our environmental sustainability journey (see for instance our Corporate website for more information). All of these things which you know I strongly believe should be of interest to our customers (e.g. in public procurement of pharmaceuticals).

We were therefore happy to be able to listen to Pauline Göthberg, natonal coordinator for all County Councils in Sweden for social responsibility in public procurement.

Pauline Göthberg

Pauline Göthberg

Pauline described several initiatives – everything from development and upgrade of the code-of-conduct, to follow-up initiatives and tools. Below you’ll find (in Swedish…) some of Pauline’s slides which show where they are today and where they are heading:

5 steps for sustainable procurement

5 steps for sustainable procurement

Priorities right now...

Priorities right now...

Personally I found it especially interesting to listen to Pauline’s presentation of the ”supplier database project” that she presented to LIF committees (both the Procurement and the Environmental Committee of the Swedish Association of the Research-based Pharmaceutical Industry) back on March 13. The project ”Uppföljningsportalen.se”, which Pauline runs together with the Swedish Environmental Management Council (MSR) is coming closer and closer to completion. Defintely interesting to follow in the coming months!

The Supplier database Project

The Supplier database Project

Step 1 in the follow-up tool

Step 1 in the follow-up tool

Step 2 in the follow-up tool

Step 2 in the follow-up tool

Sustainability Performance – perception vs. reality

SWEDISH SUMMARY: I dagens nyhetsbrev från MiljöRapporten – MiljöRapporten Direkt – presenteras Brandlogics rapport ”2012 Sustainability Report”. Rapporten tittar på ett hundratal starka globala bolag ur perspektivet hur väl bolagens hållbarhetsprestanda överensstämmer med den uppfattning som allmänheten har om de olika bolagens prestanda. Intressant!

In the daily newsletter from MiljöRapporten, called Miljörapporten Direkt, Brandlogic’s report ”2012 Sustainability Report” is presented. The report measures perceived sustainability performance with ”the real” performance. It is a very interesting read. The report identifies leaders, challengers , promotors, and laggards, in 9 different industries. One of the industries being Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare. I am happy to see that the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry in general performs vey well – all 9 companies are rated as ”leaders” or ”challengers”. This is a very strong outout compared with most other industries. It of course makes me extra happy to see that Pfizer qualifies as a ”leader”.

What does not make me happy however is to realize that our industry generally is not perceived as good as our performance allows. All the pharmaceutical and healthcare companies have a so called ”reality-led gap”. Hence we need to upgrade our communication on our sustainability initiatives and results. Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) information needs to reach our stakeholders!

To read more about Pfizer’s ESG performance please follow these links:

- Pfizer Annual Review 2011

- Pfizer Responsibility Website

- Pfizer Sweden – ”Vårt Ansvarstagande

Discussion on CSR, procurement, and social media at Pfizer AS

SWEDISH SUMMARY: Igår tillbringade jag hela dagen på Pfizers kontor i Oslo med mycket spännande diskussioner om CSR-initiativ, ”grön” offentlig upphandling och användningen av sociala medier (exempelvis twitter) inom hälso- och sjukvården. Stort tack till Reidar Lewis, Åke Elden och Merete Solli på Pfizer AS samt till Wasim Zahid, den ”twittrande läkaren”, för bra diskussioner!

I had a very good and interesting visit at Pfizer AS in Oslo, Norway, yesterday. I met with a number of Pfizer colleagues to discuss different perspectives on sustainability and on communication. At the meeting yesterday we followed up several of the discussions we had back in June 21. It is extremely fruitful and valuable to meet like this and exchange experiences and ideas. I am very grateful to Reidar Lewis and Åke Elden for our discussions on CSR initiatives and on communication strategies in ”the social media world”. And I have to say that I was very lucky that Åke had invited Wasim Zahid to the Pfizer office to talk on his views and ideas about twitter.

Åke Elden and Wasim Zahid

Åke Elden and Wasim Zahid

I met Wasim in Stockholm on September 19 at a social media conference. And I have to say that I am extremely impressed by his work. You just have to check him out at twitter at @wasimzahid (and I hope you that you can follow me at twitter at @CSRBengt). Wasim has become a ”twitter star” within the healthcare sector, and one clear sign on that was that NRK (Norway’s public service TV and radio channels) was there with us yesterday recording his lecture and our discussions. Watch out for that TV program – I promise you it is worth seeing!

Wasim Zahid is being recorded

Wasim Zahid is being recorded

I would also like to thank Merete Solli at Pfizer AS for very good discussions on public procurement and tenders. We shared a lot of experiences with one another, which will help in securing success on ”green criteria” in procurement processes. As you know from several of my previous blog posts, e.g. Sept 26 2012, Sept 4 2012, and Sept 8 2011, I am a fan of sustainability criteria in the tender process. It is however, as I have stated very many times before, important that the responses from companies to the sustainability questions in the tenders, are followed up by County Councils and other buyers. We see more and more of that, which is a very positive trend. Companies that invest heavily in sustainability and responsibility initiatives should get rewarded!

I am looking foward to continued discussions with colleagues across different markets – so valuable!

When will we see ”green pharmaceuticals” at the pharmacy?

SWEDISH SUMMARY: I Pharma Industry nr 4, 2006, beskrev jag det rådande kunskapsläget inom området Läkemedel och Miljö. I det senaste numret av tidningen (nr 3, 2012) beskriver jag i en artikel kallad ”Läkemedel och miljö – än är det långt till gröna läkemedel” vad som hänt under de senaste åren.

As you know from reading my blog posts ovder the last few years, e.g. the blog post from Sept 28 2011, I am a strong believer in the implementation of green economic incentives into the pricing and reimbursement system for pharmaceuticals. I think such incentives would speed up the process to have ”green pharmaceuticals” on the shelfs in the pharmacies. How long will it take to see that happen? In the latest issue of the magazine Pharma Industry (number 3, 2012) I have written an article on the topic, entitled ”Läkemedel och miljö – än är det långt till gröna läkemedel” (in English roughly ”Pharmaceuticals and the Environment – there is still along way to go before we see green pharmaceuticals”).