European Public Health Week: GÖG-Colloquium | Greener pharmaceuticals: policies for an environmentally sustainable pharmaceutical system

On 15 May 2024, the Pharmacoeconomics Department at Gesundheit Österreich hosted a webinar on greener pharmaceuticals. The event, part of the European Public Health Week - Health is a political choice - and Horizon Europe ASCERTAIN, focused on policies to reduce the environmental impact of pharmaceuticals.

The webinar highlighted the significant role of pharmaceuticals in transitioning towards a planetary health approach. Currently, pharmaceuticals contribute largely to the carbon footprint of health systems, and their manufacturing and improper disposal can negatively impact ecosystems.

The event explored existing policy measures, including health technology assessment (HTA) and public procurement of medicines, and how they can be used to transition towards more sustainable health systems. It drew on research findings and experiences from Austria, Denmark, and the UK in promoting greener pharmaceuticals.

Key learnings from the webinar included:

The webinar confirmed the challenges and progress in incorporating environmental aspects in various activities related to medicines. While robust methodological approaches are being explored and data availability is to be improved, several examples showcased the feasibility of initiatives towards greener pharmaceuticals. The importance of multi-stakeholder coordination and collaboration was emphasized.

You can find more information on this webinar and the speakers here.