Criteria for Green Pharmaceuticals

You have probaly seen that I have discussed green incentivces and green criteria on the blog several times (e.g. March 28, Feb 23, Feb 2, Jan 28). I believe strongly in the idea with market driven solutions to make the pharmaceutical sector ”greener”. You may have followed the discussions regarding the appropriate measures to be taken following the report from Swedish MPA on stricter environmental requirements on pharmaceutical manufacturing. MPA suggested among other things changes to GMP-regulations to include also environmental requirements and/or changes in the pricing and re-imbursement system to allow for green incentives. Read my comments to the report on the blog post from Dec 17, 2009. The Pharmaceutical Industry Association in Sweden (LIF) gave several comments to the report, including support for the idea to adjust the pricing and re-imbursement system (read the full document via this link):

”Since the design of the pricing and re-imbursement system to large parts is based on decisions taken nationally, we believe that reforms in a ”green direction” could be more rapidly done through adjustment to this system, rather than changes in an European regulation such as GMP”.

On the meeting at LIF on March 28 with all relevant stakeholders we discussed potential green incentives and the need for clear and objective criteria to classify a product as ”green”. And today we had a meeting in the task force that will try to develop those criteria. This was a start-up meeting, several more in-pepth discussions will be needed. The agenda for today, looked like this:

The agenda for the meeting

The agenda for the meeting

Some brief comments from the discussions at the meeting today:

- The task of the group is to select verifyable aspects/criteria contributing to negative environmental effects from pharmaceuticalsthat could be used for environmental assessments.

- We should not talk about ”eco labelling” (in Swedish: miljömärkning) which you could read on the proposed agenda above, rather use words such as environmental assessments and/or environmental classification

- It is important to ensure, as far as possble, that the criteria do not conflict with European legislation on e.g. pharmaceuticals and public procurement. If the idea is to find a market driven solution which could be implemented faster than changes in the GMP-regulation, conflicts with European legislation is troublesome.

- We need to balance between ”simplicity” and ”scientifical validity”, make sure that the criteria differentiates between companies and/or products, secure that the criteria are ”legally untouchable”, and flexible enough to allow for further development.

- We should build on the experiences we have on the  Swedish market from the LIF-driven initiative (in close collaboration with MPA, Stockholm County Council, Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, Swedish Pharmacy Association) to publish environmental information on pharmaceutical substances on Fass.se.

This will be a tough task – but so interesting! We will meet again and continue on the green journey!

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