Medicinal products for human use

Medicines and the environment

Study on the risks of environmental effects of medicinal products

The pollution of water and soil with pharmaceutical residues is an emerging environmental concern. In August 2013, in the framework of the adoption of Directive 2013/39/EU as regards priority substances in the field of water policy, the Commission has been asked to develop a strategic approach to pollution of water by pharmaceutical substances by the end of 2015.

The study carried out by BIO Intelligence Service on the risks of environmental effects of medicinal products, together with other relevant studies and reports, will provide the basis to develop that strategic approach. The study has a broad scope since its objectives are to characterise the scale of the environmental effects of medicinal products and to identify non-legislative and legislative causes and possible solutions across the entire EU legislative framework. It constitutes a starting point from which the different aspects need to be further validated by the European Commission based on the contributions from the European Medicines Agency, the European Environment Agency, Member States and stakeholders.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this study are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent those of the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety or the EAHC. The authors are fully responsible for any errors.