Green economic incentives in the pharmaceutical industry

SWEDISH SUMMARY: Apotekarsocietetens sektion för läkemedelsinformation anordnade en medlemskväll igår. De hade bett mig att föreläsa om, och diskutera med dem, följande frågeställningar:
- Hur kommer miljöfrågan om läkemedel hanteras inom ramen för Nationella läkemedelsstrategin och Sofias Wallströms utredning?
- Ska vi kunna få gröna ekonomiska incitament?
- Kommer miljöhänsyn tas i förmånssystemet?
- Hur ska läkemedel bedömas och hur ska information presenteras?

Yesterday I had been invited by the Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences and their division for Pharmaceutical Information to lecture and discuss the following issues:

- How are pharmaceuticals and the environment managed within the National Pharmaceutical Strategy and within Sofia Wallström’s Pharmaceutical and Pharmacy Review?
- Is there a possibility for industry to get green economic incentives??
- Will environental considerations be taken within the pricing and reimbursement system?
- How should pharmaceuticals be environmentally assessed and how should the information be presented?

In order to put the participants in the seminar into the right mood this early December evening, the Academy served some glögg (a Swedish winter speciality), candy and cake, and had asked me to play my violin. Very rarely I say no to that!

Me, my violin, and some music

Me, my violin, and some music

But after the glögg and the music we jumped into the lecture and the discussion on pharmaceuticals, the environment and potential green economic incentives. You know from several blog posts previously that I am a big fan of the idea with green economic incentives. See for instance my blog post from Nov 22 regarding not only green economic incentives but also the discussion with stakeholders on a sustainability assessment model that should be possible to utilize to grant such economic incentives.

Giving a background to the different initiatives

Giving a background to the different initiatives

In my presentation yesterday I explained the background to the different initiatives in the field of Pharmaceuticals and the Environment, taken by academia, industry as well as government. In focus of course were especially the governmental initiatives as expresssed in the National Pharmaceutical Strategy (especially Actions 7.1 and 7.2) and the environmental task within Sofia Wallström’s Pharmaceutical and Pharmacy Review (a consequence of the National Pharmaceutical Strategy action 7.1):

- Action 7.1: “Investigate if the environmental aspects should be considered when decisions on subsidy for a pharmaceutical are decided (Lead: Ministry of Health): Review of possibilities to – within the context of the national reimbursement system – increasingly take environmental considerations”.
- Action 7.2: “Encourage voluntary control of emissions from pharmaceutical manufacturing: Introduction of a voluntary environmental labeling/assessment of pharmaceutical products”.

Discussing green economin incentives

Discussing green economin incentives

We concluded the evening with good and interesting discussions on sustainability assessment models in general and on the possibilities, the opportunities and the challenges of implementing green economic incentives. No one participating in the discussion could of course tell whether or not the Sofia Wallström review will open up for green economic incentives within the pricing and reimbursement system – the report is due April 1, 2013. Nevertheless, it is a good and valuable thing to have these discussions among all different stakeholders in the sector now because it will make us better prepared if the April 1 report brings a positive decision.

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