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FloMac Apr 19, 2020 10:57 AM
Question: Progress on the harmonization of medicines disposal
Dear EEA and community,

I am currently finalizing my thesis on a comparative study of medicines disposal within the EU. In 2010, the EEA stated in workshop result papers that harmonization on disposal methods (return of old/unused medicines to pharmacies, institutionalized burning of products and digital communication of waste disposal programs to the public) is needed.

What are the efforts taken since 2010 to harmonize medicines disposal methods within the EU?
Is the topic of medicines disposal part of any motion to harmonize guidelines (EEA or other institutions)?
Are there any harmonized or aligned digital communication methods to raise public awareness on this topic?

I would highly appreciate your support.
Thank you!

Best regards from Vienna
Florian Macho
Replies (1)
EEA Apr 21, 2020 01:13 PM
Dear M. Florian Macho,

Thank you for contacting the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Unfortunately, the EEA didn’t revise the 2010 publication on the issue of pharmaceutical waste and has thus no updated information to share. Note that the EEA is not involved in preparing guidelines. This is the sole responsibility of the European Commission in cooperation with Member States.

 You may be interested to know that last year, the European Commission adopted a communication outlining a set of actions addressing the challenges that the release of pharmaceuticals poses to the environment:
- Press release and contacts:[…]/IP_19_1597
- Communication:[…]/strategic_approach_pharmaceuticals_env.PDF

The OECD recently published a report on ‘Pharmaceutical Residues in Freshwater’ and Chapter 4 on recommendations for the management of pharmaceutical residues in freshwater may be of interest to you. Please see:[…]-freshwater-c936f42d-en.htm

We hope that this may be useful to you and wish you all the best for your thesis.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service