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Calls for climate change action in pharmacy are made by FIP in a new Statement of Policy published today. The new policy, on environmental sustainability within pharmacy, expands on a 2016 FIP statement on the importance of reducing the environmental impact of pharmaceuticals and related activities. It makes clear that environmental sustainability includes both mitigation measures, such as reducing pharmaceutical pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as adaptation measures to climate change. “Pharmacy professionals have an ethical responsibility to mitigate climate and pollution risks to health throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain and across the spectrum of medication management. For example, optimised medicines management can mitigate the environmental footprint of health care within clinically appropriate deprescribing. However, the profession must now also address climate adaptation to allow for the sustainability of pharmacy services in rapidly changing environments,” said Shellyza Moledina Sajwani, co-chair of FIP’s policy committee that developed the statement.
For different sectors of the profession — pharmacy associations, hospital, community, regulation, industry, procurement, academia, public and population health, military and emergency services — the new policy statement makes a number of recommendations under the headings of mitigation and adaptation. For example, under mitigation, the federation says that regulators should collaborate with other stakeholders to build standardised data collection at national level about greenhouse gas emissions and waste from all sectors of pharmacy while creating objectives to reduce the environmental impact of medicines across their lifecycle. And under adaptation, it says that community pharmacists should update their disaster plans for emergencies and provide regular training or drills on disaster plan procedures relevant to worsening natural disasters and extreme weather events.