Europe must take the threat of pharmaceuticals in the environment seriously

The European Commission is set to release the long-awaited strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment, which will contain measures to alleviate pollution and other damage caused by pharmaceutical residues released into the environment. The delayed strategic approach, over two years late follows the Commission’s 2017 follow-up Action Plan against AMR, which ignores clear evidence on the extent of pharmaceutical pollution. 

Joint statement: Europe must align policies to tackle Pharmaceuticals in the Environment and Antimicrobial Resistance

In this joint statement, HCWH Europe urges European policymakers to align policies and tackle pharmaceuticals in the environment and antimicrobial resistance, providing reccomendations including:

  • Develop comprehensive data collection for all antibiotics used in human medicine as well as in animal breeding and husbandry, and make those accessible to the public
  • Ensure that ERA results are systematically considered in the risk-benefit analysis of marketing authorisation decisions for new human medicinal products, coupled with compulsory ERAs for products put on the market before 2006

Pharmaceutical active substances are currently excluded from EU environmental legislation, which is untenable in light of the risk that pharmaceutical pollution poses to the environment and to human and animal health. We therefore urge the European Commission to seize a number of important policy opportunities which, in combination, will mitigate the crushing effects of PiE and AMR.








Read the statement and accompanying background annex in full here. Learn more about pharmaceuticals in the environment and AMR in our Safer Pharma video at