Pharmaceuticals and the Environment – discussions continue

The day before yesterday, i.e. Dec 2, I participated in a pharmaceuticals and the environment session at the Swedish Society of Medicine’s annual gathering (in Swedish: ”Svenska Läkaresällskapets Riksstämma”). The session was arranged by Doctors for the Environment (”Läkare för Miljön”) and participating lecturers in addition to myself were Ingrid Eckerman from Doctors for the Environment, Björn Olsen (physician from Uppsala), Magnus Thyberg (from TLV, the Swedish Pricing and Reimbursement agency), and Jerker Forsell (from Ministry for the Environment).

The program looked like this (as it is presented on the website for Doctors for the Environment):


Läkemedel i miljön – hot mot dagens och morgondagens generationer? Ingrid Eckerman, LfM

Antibiotika i miljön – ett hot mot infekterade patienter  Björn Olsen, UAS

Vad kan TLV göra för att förhindra miljöfarliga läkemedel? Magnus Thyberg, TLV

Ändring i läkemedelslagstiftning ger EU möjlighet att påverka läkemedelsproduktionen positivt i Indien och Kina  Jerker Forssell, Miljödepartementet

Vad är ett grönt läkemedel? Bengt Mattson, Pfizer/LIF

The slides will be available through the website of Doctors for the Environment, so will not go into any details what so ever here on the blog. But I do really recommend that you flip through the slides when they are made available on the website. It was good and interesting presentations. I have to admit that I was very impressed, and actually scared, by the presentation from Björn Olsen. Antimicrobial resistance is really a scaring threat to society…

My own presentation was on ”green pharmaceuticals” and a model to assess greenness. The background to the model is of course the work that has been made by the LIF Round Table task force during 2011. See the following blog post, and follow the links within that blog post, for more details: Sept 28, 2011.

I will give a similar presentation tomorrow to the Pharmaceutical and Environmental Network of the Swedish County Councils. I will come back with more details after that lecture.

These discussions are very important to me since they are part of the project I run in my LIF-assignment. The project is the ”action item 7.2″ from the National Pharmaceutical Strategy. I described this in the blog post from Nov 29:

”The National Pharmaceutical Strategy, and especially the two first action items identified within the scope of intervention area number 7 “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 and Social Affairs): 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 of pharmaceutical products.
I will be the project manager for action item 7.2 and will hopefully be able to connect 7.2 strongly with action item 7.1 which is to be managed by Sofia Wallström in her review. I think it is very important, and it feels reasonable,  that society presents some form of economic incentives if industry is supposed to “volontary implement a system and an assessment model”…”


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