EFPIA response to the European Parliament endorsement of the political agreement on UWWT directive

During the April 10 Plenary session, the European Parliament adopted the political agreement reached in Trilogue on the Urban Wastewater Treatment directive, moving forward with the final adoption of this file.

We support the overall objective of the revision to address water pollution, one of the main challenges of current times. The pharmaceutical industry is committed to take on our fair share of responsibility, and has already put in place an extensive Eco-Pharmaco-Stewardship programme, which over the past 15 years has made great progress in minimising the effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment

However, we regret to see that only the pharmaceutical and cosmetics sectors will cover the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system set up the legislation. This is not compliant with key principles of EU Treaties (e.g., proportionality, equal treatment and polluter pays principle) and misses its main goal of incentivising all polluters to invest in more sustainable products. We believe that every stakeholder contributing to micropollutants in the water must be part of any solution to enable the cleanest water possible.

Moreover, we believe it is fundamentally important that the proposed EPR system does not have a negative impact on the accessibility and affordability of medicines for patients. Since this crucial element was not considered during the legislative process leading up to the adoption of the text, we welcome the fact that the European Commission will assess whether the EPR scheme as adopted will have any potential impact in this regard.

EFPIA remains committed to ensure see a fair and effective implementation of the directive and the EPR scheme in all 27 Member States.