These resources include information about environmentally sustainable health care, medicines use, and management of pharmaceutical waste for individuals, organizations, and health systems.
Decarbonization of Health Care
“A navigational tool for achieving zero emissions with climate resilience and health equity”, published by Health Care Without Harm
A report by Health Care Without Harm: “How the health sector contributes to the global climate crisis and opportunities for action”
Pharmaceuticals in the Environment
Video from Health Care Without Harm Europe, describing roles for the pharmaceutical industry, health care professionals, and patients. Note that the “Safer Pharma” campaign the video refers to ended in 2020 and has been followed by the “Pharma in the environment” website listed below.
Website hosted by Health Care Without Harm Europe, presenting information and materials about pharmaceutical pollution, recommendations for stakeholders, and an overview of EU regulatory developments.
A report from the Changing Markets Foundation exploring the impacts of pollution from pharmaceutical production sites in the Indian city of Hyderabad, one of the world’s largest “bulk drug” manufacturing hubs, and a major supplier of medicines across the European Union and United States.
Environmentally Sustainable Use of Pharmaceuticals
From hospitals in the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals network
Report by Health Care Without Harm, including case studies from hospitals in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK.
A searchable database of environmental impact of specific drugs based on available data on environmental risks and hazards.
Fundamentals of green chemistry for pharmaceutical science
Bettington E, Spinks J, Kelly F, Gallard-Godoy A, Nghiem S, WHeeler AJ. When is a medicine unwanted, how is it disposed, and how might safe disposal be promoted? Insights from the Australian population. Aust Health Rev. 2017;42(6): 709-717. https://doi.org/10.1071/AH16296
Cook SM, vanDuinen BJ, Love NG, Skerlos SJ. Life Cycle Comparison of Environmental Emissions from Three Disposal Options for Unused Pharmaceuticals. Environ Sci Technol. 20212; 46(10): 5535-5541. https://doi.org/10.1021/es203987b
Khan U, Bloom RA, Nicell JA, Laurenson JP. Risks associated with the environmental release of pharmaceuticals on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration "flush list". Sci Total Environ. 2017 Dec 31;609:1023-1040. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.269. Epub 2017 Aug 2. PMID: 28787777.
Law AV, Sakharkar P, Zargarzadeh A, et al. Taking stock of medication wastage: Unused medications in US households. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. 2015; 11(4): 571-578. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2014.10.003
McAlister S, Ou Y, Neff E, Hapgood K, Story D, Mealey P, McGain F. The Environmental footprint of morphine: a life cycle assessment from opium poppy farming to the packaged drug. BMJ Open. 2016;6: e013302. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2016-013302
Wilkinson AJK, Braggins R, Steinbach I, Smith J. Costs of switching to low global warming potential inhalers: an economic and carbon footprint analysis of NHS prescription data in England. BMJ Open. 2019;9(10): e28763
Bettington E, Spinks J, Kelly F, Wheeler AJ. Returning unwanted medicines to pharmacies: prescribing to reduce waste. Aust Prescr. 2018;41:78-81. https://doi.org/10.18773/austprescr.2018.015
Daughton CG. Eco-directed sustainable prescribing: feasibility for reducing water contamination by drugs. Science of The Total Environment. 2014; 493(15): 392-404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.06.013
Singleton JA, Lau ETL, Nissen LM. Waiter, there is a drug in my soup - using Leximancer® to explore antecedents to pro-environmental behaviours in the hospital pharmacy workplace. Int J Pharm Pract. 2018;26(4):341-50.
Programs & Toolkits
Connects vulnerable pts with unused medications
Matthew 25 Ministries Pill Bottle Donations
Collect and re-uses or recycles empty pill bottles
Australian program administered via community pharmacies
Resource kit published by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration