Yesterday I participated in a conference arranged by the "County Council Network on Pharmaceuticals and the Environment" (in Swedish: Landstingens nätverk för Läkemedel och Miljö). This was the third conference arranged by the network (see my comments from last year's conference via this link).
I had the opportunity to participate in the morning session which started out with Åke Wennmalm (SustainPharma and previously the Environmental Director at Stockholm County Council) describing a 10-year long journey with Pharmaceuticals and the Environment. There is a lot of things that have happened in the last decade!
After Åke, Nina Viberg from SKL entered the stage and she described some ongoing initiatives, e.g. the National Pharmaceutical Strategy and the All-Party Committee on Environmental Objectives. You can read more about these initiatives in my blog post "A Regulatory Update on Pharmaceuticals and the Environment".
Nina passed the word over to me, and I went in to some more details on the environmental action items (especially items 7.1 and 7.2) in the National Pharmaceutical Strategy:
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.
As you will know from my previous blog posts, 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”… I described the work that has been made so far to develop a assessment model by the task force initiated by the LIF Round Table (see the blog post from Sept 28 and follow the links within that blog post for more details).
For the first time I also showed a draft project plan for the "action item 7.2 work task". As you notice, it is still a draft but it will soon become more formal and official...
It might be hard to read but in essence it has four deliverables:
1. An e-learning tool to educate and train colleagues: "What is a green pharmaceutical, and how do you assess grenness?"
2. Development of a model for environmental assessment of pharmaceuticals, with clear criteria to identify green products
3. Development of a tool/methodology/connection between the assessment model and green economic incentives within the pricing and reimburesment system
4. Establish of an organisation to handle/manage the models and systems
As you understand there are very important cross references between 7.2 and 7.1 (i.e. the Sofia Wallström review if environmental aspects can be taken within the frame of the pricing and reimbursement system)!
More to come - stay tuned!