NLS 7.2 and Sustainability Assessments of Pharmaceuticals

SWEDISH SUMMARY: Igår träffades en stor del av intressenterna på den svenska hälso- och sjukvårds samt läkemedelsmarknaden för att ta diskussionerna vidare från LIF:s rundabordssamtal 2011 gällande miljöbedömningar av läkemedelsprodukter och gröna ekonomiska incitament. Dessa diskussioner utgör en viktig del i Nationella läkemedelsstrategins aktiviteter 7.1 och 7.2.

During 2011 LIF (The Swedish Association of the Research-Based Pharmaceutical Industry) run a series of round-table discussions on environmental assessment models for pharmaceutical products and on green economic incentives within the pricing and reimbursement system. Both the topics are identified actions within the Swdish National Pharmaceutical Strategy (NLS):

- 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”.

Yesterday, several of the stakeholders met again to take the discussions regarding an assessment model further. It is clear to everyone I guess that the task is not easy. There are so many aspects and perspectives to bear in mind. One thing however that everybody seem to be in agreement upon is that CSR-issues should be part of such an assesment, in addition to environmental aspects. Hence, the model is better called Sustainability Assessment Model for Phrarmaceutical Products (hereafter referred to as SAMPP) than an environmental asssement model. We had good discussions regarding CSR-aspects based on the County Councils’ code-of-conduct:

”Our suppliers (contract partners) shall respect the fundamental social demands in their business. Products delivered to the County Council/Region must be manufactured in conditions in accordance with:
- ILO eight fundamental conventions numbers 29, 87, 98, 100, 105, 111, 138 and 182
- UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 32
- all work related health and safety legislation in the manufacturing country
- the labour law, including legislation on minimum wage and the relevant social security insurance, in the manufacturing country”

But when it comes to the different environmental criteria that could be used in SAMPP, different opinions still exists. How much of a phamaceutical’s life cycle should be included, and what relevant and reasonable metrics should be used?

The discussions will continue. The timeline according to the project plan for NLS 7.2 is that a model should be ready during Q2 2013. This timing is related to the presentation of the NLS 7.1 report on April 1 next year.

Stay tuned – more to come in the coming months…

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