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European Commission releases strategy addressing pharmaceuticals in the environment
  1. Stephanie Kohl
  1. Policy and Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels 1200, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Stephanie Kohl, Policy and Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels 1200, Belgium; Stephanie.Kohl{at}

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The risks posed by pharmaceuticals in the environment have been mentioned increasingly over the past years as an emerging problem. Article 8c of Directive 2008/105/EC on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy mandated the European Commission to develop a strategic approach to water pollution by pharmaceutical substances. This long-awaited strategic document has now been released.

The ‘Communication on a Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment’ outlines actions which aim at addressing the problems caused by pharmaceutical products entering the environment during their manufacture, use and disposal. The European Commission will approach this problem through the following:

  • Increasing awareness and promoting the prudent use of pharmaceutical.

  • Supporting the development of pharmaceuticals intrinsically less harmful for the environment and promoting greener manufacturing.

  • Improving environmental risk assessment and its review.

  • Reducing wastage and improving the management of waste.

  • Expanding environmental monitoring.

  • Filling knowledge gaps.

The actions included in the Communication will be initiated, continued or in some cases even be completed in 2020. The involvement of Member States as well as relevant stakeholders is envisioned to jointly tackle the problem of water pollution by pharmaceuticals and antimicrobial resistance.

First meeting of EU’s Coalition for Vaccination

On 4 March, the European Commission brought together Member State representatives and healthcare professional organisations on the topic of vaccination. The group discussed the need to form a European Union (EU) Coalition for Vaccination comprised out of all relevant actors at the European level to combat vaccine hesitance and to better equip healthcare professionals with the skills needed to discuss this topic with their peers and patients.

The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) used this occasion to release the Association’s Opinion on Vaccination, which welcomes the Council Recommendation on strengthened cooperation against vaccine-preventable diseases on the basis of which the EU Coalition for Vaccination was launched. In its opinion the …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.