Several exemples lately show that "Pharmaceuticals and the Environment" have become a topic of interest not only for the pharmaceutical industry and the health care sector, but for society as such. I have discussed several times here at the blog the Swedish All Party Committee on Environmental Objectives, and the work on pharmaceuticals in relation to the goal "A Non-Toxic Environment" (see e.g. the blog post from Jan 24). You are also well aware about the environmental initiatives taken in the Swedish National Pharmaceutical Strategy (see e.g Dec 6, 2011). I would presume that you also have heard and read about the MistraPharma-project, a large research investment in the pharmaceutical and environmental field from Mistra, the Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research. And of course, no one following this field of research and debate missed last year's series of discussions on "Ekot" on Swedish Radio regarding releases of pharmaceutical substances from manufacturing operations in India (see for instance my blog post from Feb 18, 2011).
Yet another example coming now is that Globe Forum has initiated a "challenge" in the field of pharmaceuticals as part of their process towards the event on April 26 at Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden:
"Hur kan vi använda antibiotika och hormoner klokare, och minska deras påverkan på vattenmiljön?" (in English roughly "How can we use antibiotics and hormones wiser, and reduce their impact on the aquatic environment?")
Globe Forum looks for new ideas and techniques that can help to decrease the amount of sex hormones and/or antibiotics entering into our waterways. A reduced environmental impact can be the result from changes in consumption patterns or manufacturing operations, better management of unused medicines or more effective waste water treatment. The most exciting innovations will be presented at the Globe Forum 2012, an all-day conference in Stockholm 26 april.
Looks like it could be an interesting discussion on April 26! I hope the challenge will receive a lot of attention and good participation from innovators across different scientific fields. Stay tuned - more to come!