Joint Press Statement of the Inter Associations Initiative Pharmaceuticals in the Environment Task Force on the European Union Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

The members of the IAI Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (PiE) Task Force welcome the publication of the European Commission’s Strategy on PiE.  The Task Force, which includes AESGP, EFPIA and Medicines for Europe supports the Strategy’s holistic lifecycle approach to minimising the impact of pharmaceuticals on the environment and encouraging the stakeholders to lead, including by facilitating exchange of best practices.

Minimising the impact of medicines on the environment while safeguarding access to effective treatments for patients is a critical issue across all sectors of the pharmaceutical industry. It has been the driver behind the creation of the IAI PiE Task Force, the development of the industry Eco-Pharmaco-Stewardship (EPS) initiative and a number of projects, such as the #Medsdisposal campaign raising awareness regarding the safe disposal of medicines and Innovative Medicines Initiative project “iPiE” (Intelligence-led Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment) identifying and prioritising medicines that are most likely to present a risk to the environment. We are also working, directly or via our member companies, through the AMR Industry Alliance to monitor and manage potential risks from the production of antibiotics on the environment.

We broadly support the policy areas that the European Commission puts forward in its strategic approach on pharmaceuticals in the environment, most of which are aligned with the actions that industry has identified to effectively reduce possible environmental risks. These actions include increasing awareness and promoting the responsible use of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, monitoring the environmental impact through improved Environmental Risk Assessment (eERA), increasing data transparency supporting the environmental risk assessment, improving the collection of unused or expired medicines and supporting continuous research on the topic.  

In addition, we welcome the strategic focus on improving water management and on expanding the monitoring of the environmental impact to cover certain parts of the environment, such as the gathering of relevant data in effluents from potential hotspots. We believe such measures would also contribute to improve water quality across Europe.

We are supportive of measures to foster research into the feasibility of greener products, and industry has been increasingly developing greener manufacturing methods bearing in mind that the safety and the efficacy of the medicines we produce must remain our primary objective.

The publication of the strategic approach to PiE gives the pharmaceutical industry another opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to minimising the impact of medicines on the environment and we look forward to working in partnership with the European Commission and other stakeholders across the areas of work detailed in the Strategy.



AESGP, the Association of the European Self-Medication Industry, is the representation of manufacturers of non-prescription medicines, food supplements and self-care medical devices in Europe. It is composed of national associations and the main multinational companies manufacturing self-care products. AESGP is the voice of more than 2000 companies operating in the consumer healthcare sector in Europe, affiliated with AESGP directly or indirectly through the national associations.


The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) represents the pharmaceutical industry operating in Europe. Through its direct membership of 36 national associations and 40 leading pharmaceutical companies, EFPIA's mission is to create a collaborative environment that enables our members to innovate, discover, develop and deliver new therapies and vaccines for people across Europe, as well as contribute to the European economy. Our vision is for a healthier future for Europe. A future based on prevention, innovation, access to new treatments and better outcomes for patients.


Medicines for Europe represents the generic, biosimilar and value added medicines industries across Europe. Its vision is to provide sustainable access to high quality medicines, based on 5 important pillars: patients, quality, value, sustainability and partnership. Its members directly employ 190,000 people at over 400 manufacturing and 126 R&D sites in Europe, and invest up to 17% of their turnover in R&D investment. Medicines for Europe member companies across Europe are both increasing access to medicines and driving improved health outcomes. They play a key role in creating sustainable European healthcare systems by continuing to provide high quality, effective generic medicines, whilst also innovating to create new biosimilar medicines and bringing to market value added medicines, which deliver better health outcomes, greater efficiency and/or improved safety in the hospital setting for patients. For more information please follow us at and on Twitter @medicinesforEU.