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Pharmacy profession must mitigate and adapt to climate change, FIP says in a new policy statement

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Brisbane • 26 September 2023

Calls for climate change action in pharmacy are made by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (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 Dr 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.

“This expanded policy is particularly timely as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR6 Synthesis Report 2023 has outlined the urgency and necessity of immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions this decade to limit global warming to 1.5°C or 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This statement is intended to bring forth the urgent action needed in the pharmacy sector,” Dr Sajwani said.

Notes for editors

About FIP The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global federation of national associations of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy educators, and is in official relations with the World Health Organization. Through its 156 member organisations, it represents over four million practitioners and scientists around the world.

Ms Lin-Nam Wang
Head of Corporate Communications & Advocacy
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)
Tel +31 6 316 29160

Last update 5 July 2018

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